Michael Omi's In Living Color: Race And American Culture

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Girls play with Barbie dolls and boys play with monster trucks. Asians love Korean pop music and all Mexicans know the Taco Bell dog, right? As kids grow up, they are constantly surrounded by social media, television, celebrities, and other authoritative figures such as parents and grandparents. In this day in age, it is almost impossible not to judge a person based on how they look because of how media outlets characterize certain “types” of people. Michael Omi states in his writing, “In Living Color: Race and American Culture,” that sexism and racism-fueled events suggest the American population has created one big “system of inequality which has shaped, and in turn been shaped by, our pop culture” (539). Omi’s piece is still relevant in …show more content…
What race usually comes to mind when thinking about rap music? What about country? Music Industries and certain artists cater to specific demographics because the more people listen to songs that they relate to or resonate with, the more likely they are to enjoy it and keep the artist relevant. When an African American rap artist wants to change it up and “cross-over” into a different genre, it must go through an approval cycle by white audiences for them to officially “break out of this artistic ghettoization” that categorizes them (Omi 547). Many artists such as Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus, have been constantly scrutinized for both, crossing over from being solely country singers to becoming pop icons. Some men even feel threatened by their strong lyrics and powerful girl-power anthems. However, rappers such as Kanye West and Future are praised for their copious amounts of money and all the girls that throw themselves at the artists because that is the “ideal life” for some. Depending on race or gender, an artist can either take off or never leave the ground; similarly, T.V. and movie stars fall into the same …show more content…
For instance, if a children’s television show is more suited for girls, there would most likely be a lot of lighter colors and an emphasis on appearance to others. Take the Barbie television show, for example. Barbie’s color scheme is ninety-nine percent pastels and she absolutely must walk out of her dream house wearing the cutest and newest outfits to show off to all her friends, including her boyfriend, Ken. On the other hand, if a western movie is played, there are usually “whites [who] bravely fight off fierce bands of Native American Indians” (Omi 543). Also in these movies is a damsel (white woman) in distress, in which the main protagonist must save her from the Native Americans by shooting their horses and destroying their camp sites. The Film and Television industry has succeeded to create multiple stereotypes over the years like the “smart Asian” and the “gangster African American” and have generalized these populations to give them one inaccurate image. Hasbro and Mattel are experts at creating the perfect toy. As a result, girls have been taught to be different from boys from the moment they are born. When taking a walk down any Target or Walmart store, it is not hard to tell the girl’s toy aisle from the boy’s due to the color schemes and the types of

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