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Does the Media Present Biased Views of Social Groups?

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In our current society, the media has a great impact on our everyday lives. We are profoundly surrounded by the media culture, and rely heavily on it. We are informed about various incidents that help us make our decisions on a daily basis. The media's role is to provide people with solid facts without any opinions attached. This is not the case; some media sources present bias views about many current issues. In some instances, the media presents bias views of many social groups such as the physical portrayal of men and women in magazines, the constant stereo type of women in rap music, and the reoccurring prejudice movements towards same sex relationships.

Majority of magazines present bias views on the physical features of men and women. Specifically magazines targeted towards women, such as issues of Vogue and Cosmopolitan. These magazines and advertisements portray people to have the "ideal" bodies, such as a bikini body for the female and six pack abs for the male. This influences the reader that the ordinary male of female would have to fit the "ideal image" portrayed by the media in order to show their acceptance in society. The media is creating a stereo type which is based on how women and men should look, even though the human population comes in various sizes and shapes. "By reflecting certain narrowly defined roles for women, advertising is believed to reinforce the notion that those roles are "proper," "best," or "natural" (Hawkins and Coney 1976). This leads to many intakes on diets and pills to achieve the perfect body, portrayed in many sources of the media. It is rare to find a magazine where the model is far from slim, partially because many women would feel insecure showing their body, if they were not slim due to the media's influence. So, while the media portrays women to be exactly like the models seen in magazines and in our entertainment industry, it's a fact that most women cannot achieve the ideal look. "The average model is taller and weighs 23 per cent, or almost a quarter, less than the average woman who is 5'4" and weighs 148 lbs." (Canadian Women's Health Network 2005). This quote indicates that the media's portrays unrealistic and bias views of certain social groups in our entertainment industry.

Another biased view that the media presents, is mostly concentrated on the portrayal of woman in the rap music industry. Many rappers refer to women as sex objects that are to be used. They are influencing and creating a stereo type that women love the sex industry. There are many women who disagree with this bias opinion, hence portraying a false image in the music industry. Rap music is targeted towards all ages; consequently the media's portrayal of women is spread globally. The repellent and harsh lyrics towards females in rap music, shows the biased and stereotypical view of the women's actions. For example, the song "She Swallowed It", by N.W.A, which recommend specific procedures for attacking a fourteen year old, "Punch the bitch in the eye, then the ho will fall to the ground, then you open up her mouth, put your dick, move the shit around." (Edward G. Armstrong 2001). Such indecent lyrics which portrays the handling of the women social group is a clear indication of the media's bias views. Another example would be in the music video by the famous rapper Nelly Cornell Haynes, Jr. where, "men throw cash at women's crotches and, in one scene, a man swipes his credit card through a woman's buttocks." (Rose Arce 2005) These explicit clips and lyrics distribute the persistent image of women, specifically black women to be an object.

Lastly, the media presents constant movements of prejudice towards the concept of same sex relationships. As it is the media's role to represent a neutral opinion on all topics, the media presents negative stereotypes towards gays and lesbians. They are often found at the sidelines of the entertainment industry and are rarely portrayed as normal people, and to some extent never at all. For example the movie, Broke Back Mountain, which is about "two Wyoming ranch hands" that fall in love, the media "keep tagging it as the gay cowboy movie" (Ang Lee 2005). The entertainment field isn't the only type of media with has bias views against gays and lesbians. Fields of media that we are exposed to on a daily basis, is the news that has provoked numerous biased views upon



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