Friday, 1 April 2011

Fearne Cotton beauty article

This is a beauty article containing tips and adverts for products. It is written by a ‘beauty expert’ who gives her advice on how to achieve the latest make up looks and rates the products on the market. Because the article is written by an expert the reader trusts the information given and is likely to buy the products on recommendation from this expert. Also there is an image of a celebrity with no make- up on looking rough, the reader can relate to this image. Next to it is the same celebrity looking made up, glam and attractive. The reader aspires to looking like a celebrity and the article provides them with ‘insider knowledge’ of the products the celebrity supposedly uses to look like she does, giving the reader the impression if they buy these products and follow the experts tips they too can look as glamorous and beautiful as a celebrity, reinforcing their status in the world.

I married a truck article

This is an article about an American woman who is an ‘object sexual’, after years of being alone, has fallen in love with and married a truck. This promotes a feeling of disbelief in the reader, thinking this person must be ‘mad’ reassuring the reader that they are ‘normal’. It could also create a cultural prejudice from the reader too with the woman being American, they might think ‘only an American could be crazy enough to marry an inanimate object’ reassuring themselves that, being more conservative, the British are saner. On the flip side some readers may relate to this story and feel reassured that their weird sexual fantasy is actually not that weird at all in relation to this one and reassure them they are ‘normal’.

Britain’s youngest mum article

This is a ‘real life’ article about a girl who became Britain’s youngest mum aged 12, and then had another baby at 16. It conforms completely to the stereotype of the teenage single mum, stating that she is unemployed, has been in trouble with the law and has been evicted from her house due to non-payment of rent and noise pollution. It includes information about the girl’s mother, who she has recently moved back in with to try to sort her life out, and states that she is a single mother of 9 who lives on benefits. This would be quite a shocking real life story to the reader of this magazine; it would make them feel better about their own lives as they would think they were different, better than these people.

Kinder Bueno Advert

The readers of this magazine are conscious about their appearance, believing in order to be successful in life they must look good; like their hero’s - the celebrity. This in turn means they are conscious about their weight but, as they constantly reassure themselves that they are ‘normal’, like to enjoy a treat. This advert for ‘light chocolate’ reassures the reader they can have that treat without sacrifice to their appearance.

Specsavers advert

A glamorous, sophisticated, perfectly groomed and intelligent looking woman wearing a pair of glasses designed by Gok Wan who is a celebrity the readers are familiar with as being someone who transforms the lives of women by styling them, making them feel confident about themselves. It is accompanied by text which states you can get a pair of these designer glasses for £99 and get a pair free, meaning they can use their glasses as a way of expressing their identity through owning more than one pair. Necessity has been stylised and is at a price affordable to the reader.

Portfolio task 7 – Photo Essay

Closer is a weekly magazine aimed at working class young women who like to keep up with the latest trends and fashions, but don’t have much money to spend. They are interested in the world of the celebrity and thrive on celebrity misfortunes as a way of reassurance in their own lives. They like to read about shocking real life stories, which are a way of confirming to them that they are ‘normal’. They are heavy consumers and base their status on the commodities they own and the way they look, but don’t have much disposable income so look to magazines like this one for inspiration on a budget. They also usually have busy lives through working or having children and so want something easy to read in their spare time.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Portfolio Task 6 – Sustainability and Capitalism.

Sustainability in the text Balser, E (2008) 'Capital Accumulation, Sustainability & Hamilton Ontario'is defined as being an ‘inter and intra-generational equity in the social, environmental, economic, moral and political spheres of society’. (Meadows 7) It is also stated that ideologically it is a communal concept, however in reality environmentally conscious decisions have largely fallen to the individual and through technology. It is said that sustainability is a concept that only the rich can afford.
The characteristics and tendencies of Capitalism are that it is constantly looking for things to commodify; it thrives on creating and is constantly expanding. It subsumes non-capital markets and intensifies internal markets. Capitalism is not a linear system but a diverse web that continuously expands and traps.
The natural world is a necessary pre condition of any profitable business and therefore a crisis of capitalism would be the loss of natural conditions needed for production.
Solutions that have been offered are –
Radically increase the productivity of resource use.
Shift to biologically inspired production with closed loop, no waste, and no toxicity.
Shift the business model away from the making and selling of things to providing the service that the thing delivers.
Reinvest in natural and human capital.
An example of a solution is the BIOX Corporation in Canada, which was built to provide ‘high quality, accessible and affordable bio-diesel for environmentally concerned consumers’. However this plan is flawed due to a sacrifice of social equality. The local community have seen their quality of life diminish and residents of the area are exposed to potentially harmful chemicals and pollutants. Bio-fuel is also expensive and therefore can only be afforded by the rich, at the expense of the poor. The plant was built on community green space and constant tremors have caused damage to the nearby resident’s houses, this is also an example of ‘crisis of Capitalism’.
I think the lines between the concepts of sustainability being compatible with Capitalism are quite blurred due to the contradictions it makes. It states that ecological integrity and economic prosperity are important for sustainability, however this is at cost to the local environment and at the sacrifice of the poor. In theory sustainability is supposed to be a communal concept but in practice it is down to the individual and technology, this creates a class divide in the population. It blames capitalism for the environmental problems we face but also asks for its help to rectify them. The ideology of sustainability is not compatible with capitalism, however in practice the reality of sustainability is that it is compatible.