Before I talk about more of the VMA awards, I want to share Jean Kilborne's media literacy work. I came across it when I was working in residence life at university.
In this Tedx talk, she quickly covers her core argument that commercial media, through its construction of the "ideal human body", is leading to the "trivialization" and "pornification" of sex.
It also "normalizes dangerous attitudes" that impact people.
This talk is a great background to why the images in the VMA awards needs to be deconstructed. The VMA awards (just like the music videos it celebrates) are ads for mainstream music.
Of course, the VMA isn't all bad. Just like commercial media isn't all bad. There are values and voices that can inform, educate, challenge, grow who we are as humans. Media is. as always, too complex to treat as either black or white.
For example, a week ago on my Facebook feed I came across this acceptance speech by Ashton Kutcher. I knew he was married to Demi Moore and was on a TV show once but what he says in this speech makes me a fan. I need to figure out a way to help bring it my students.
1. Opportunity looks like hard work and it is.
2. Being smart, thoughtful generous is sexy.
3. Build a life. Don't live one.