Appropriation Of Non-Westerners In Mass Media

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Appropriation of Non-Westerners in Mass Media
Mass media, by definition, is media aimed toward the masses. Media comes in all kinds of forms such as television, radio, magazines, and film. Film is arguably the most influential form of mass media in that it spans across the globe. Films produced in the West are some of the most viewed forms of mass media around the world; therefore, when non-western people are misrepresented, those representations can be taken as fact across the entire world. Lutz and Collins argue in their text, Reading National Geographic, that the representations of non-western people in National Geographic, and mass media in general, are not a “mirror of reality”. National Geographic does not realistically portray the non-western
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Because Hawaii is known to be a beautiful island, the people are generally going to be represented as beautiful. In the film, Full Metal Jacket, the Vietnamese people are depicted very differently. Since the film takes place in Vietnam (which does not hold the same image as Hawaii to Westerners) the people are not represented as beautiful, but rather the women are completely fetishized. Lutz and Collins critique National Geographic on “emphasizing sensuality” of the women by very frequently showing topless women and the exoticism of female dancers (Lutz and Collins 136). This is also the case in much of mass media, but to a further extent in that much of mass media has the leniency to show more graphic depictions of fetishized women. Full Metal Jacket is known to be one of the best films in American history, which is a shame based upon how the Vietnamese people are represented. There are very few Vietnamese faces shown in the entire film, and there are only two women who have any speaking roles. Those two women shown are presented as prostitutes with their only lines having to do with sex. Lines such as, “me so horny, me love you long time” (Full Metal Jacket 1989) make the Vietnamese women appear to be only sexual objects for the soldiers. Not only is this line a perfect example of how the Vietnamese people are appropriated by the West, but it is also heavily quoted in many other Hollywood …show more content…
In a recent, viral Facebook post, there is a video that is campaigning for “Columbus Day” to be changed to “Indigenous People’s Day”, which is a great idea, but there were some problems with the video. The video consisted of multiple clips of Native Americans with text over the clips explaining why changing the day would be a good idea, but the only Native Americans shown were plains Native Americans in the reservation era. Using images of Native Americans in this way is politically invigorating in that it shows the Native Americans only as they were during the reservation era. Showing the Native Americans as “outside of history”, or in just that one moment (the reservation era), causes a sort of awakening in many about the Native Americans because the time represented is a time where Native Americans were losing everything. Now, it is important that people are aware of the plights of the Native Americans but representing them in a way that is for political purposes can be harmful to how the Native Americans are viewed as a whole. Native Americans have a rich history, with many tribes, and many ideas. The representation of Native Americans stuck on a reservation and as only one tribe can cause many people to believe that that is what Native American culture is. Using only the plains Native Americans as the backdrop furthers the stereotype that all Native Americans lived in

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