time and space, you watch us run.


To celebrate, I decided to harness my editing skills (because I so totally have editing skills) and create a tribute to my favourite series of Doctor Who- series 6 of the 2005 reboot. This particular series was perfect for a number of reasons- it presented us with a perfectly timey-wimey mystery, elaborated on the idea that 'silence will fall when the question is asked', and gave us the intriguing backstory of River Song. It also helps that the 11th Doctor is my favourite doctor and the Ponds are my favourite companions. What's not to love? 

Doctor Who will forever hold a place in our hearts as one of the best sci-fi shows of all time. When people ask what it's about, it can be simply described as a show about a man who can fly through time and space in a box called the TARDIS. But it's more than that. Doctor Who is about compassion, love, sacrifice, power, empathy and so many other wonderful things. 

Here's to another 50 years of Doctor Who! 


whoever controls the media controls the mind

Hello everyone!  I'm so sorry for not writing in such a long time- I've been really caught up with school work, SAT preparation and work for various extra curricular activities. Blegh. However, I did have some really exciting moments over the last month. I turned 15, got accepted as a student officer for THIMUN Hague (are any of you guys going?) and even dressed up as River Song for Hallowe'en. Fun stuff. Anyway, I'm not here to talk about my life right now. Today's post is centered around a simple and often discussed topic: messages from the media.

The media dominates our lives. It's everywhere - In our homes, at school, on the roads. Media reaches us through several different forms, from television, to the Internet, to the billboards we see on the highway and the advertisements on taxis and sometimes the stickers on cars. Wherever we look, we're being convinced to buy a certain product because it will make us more beautiful/intelligent/attractive to men or women/etc. However, many of the ideas conveyed by the media are negative and self-deprecating. The fact that we're constantly being bombarded with these messages means that the negativity is very, very hard to ignore.

One of the largest problems with mass media is the message that it sends regarding our body images. The women and men that you see in the media always fit exactly the same criteria: skinny, fair-skinned, glossy hair, and golden ratio facial features. This is not an accurate representation of humans. We're all of different shapes and sizes. We all have different skin tones, different hair types and different features. But the media tells us that only a select should be considered beautiful. They sell us products that they claim will help us become their definition of beautiful, such as the skin-whitening creams mentioned in my last post. Those of us who don't fit this criteria often suffer from a warped self image that drives some of us to develop life-threatening diseases, such as bulimia and depression just because they don't look a certain way. I've previously talked about that over here.

There are several other issues that plague the media. It contains a huge amount of glorified violence and abusive behaviour. Seeing violence in the media has negative, long-term effects on us: it causes us to become desensitised, meaning that we become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others. We may become more fearful about the world around us, or be more likely to behave in aggressive or harmful ways to others. Cultural stereotypes are prominent in the media, diminishing the richness of human diversity. The media also peddles gender stereotypes, differentiating products for young children through colours and labels, convincing them that the genders are completely different and they both require completely different items.

Messages from the media influence how we think. Mass media can be considered a shared system of knowledge, one that largely affects our mindset. It can affect how we feel about ourselves, how we interact with others and most importantly, our beliefs and values. Historically, beliefs and values are learnt through local communities. They are taught by family members, educational systems, cultural groups and our own balanced judgment. While we continue to learn much from those in our community circles, our values about what is 'right', 'true' or 'beautiful' are greatly influenced by the media. If something is depicted as positive in the mass media, then we tend to accept it, no matter how negative our balanced judgment or previous knowledge tells us that it is. 

Although right now, messages in the media are mostly negative, we can use it to do good. If the media influences the accepted norms around us, we should be able to use it in order to make sure that those norms are realistic. For example, H&M recently released an advertising campaign for their latest swimsuit line, where they used a plus-sized model. In recent years, companies such as Disney have begun to embrace diversity; in 2009, Tiana from The Princess and the Frog became the first African-American Disney princess. 

It's good to see the media tackling issues that are relevant to our world today because it is through mass media that our mindsets begin to change, as it influences our values. If models are of different shapes, sizes, races and looks, if violence is no longer glorified, if diversity is embraced, then the media will be influencing our world for the better. If the media begins to transmit positive messages, maybe the people who have negative self-images will begin to feel empowered. 

We can change the negativity that has plagued the media for so long if we just begin to question it. If we identify where it's going wrong, we can take measures to steer it back onto the right path and make a difference for the better. As Jim Morrison once said "whoever controls the media controls the mind."