Why try and ‘sexify’ ? – research proposal

It is generally accepted that ‘sex sells’, whether it is for a sports car, chocolate or even in some cases campaigning for charity. However, where do we draw the line with it comes to sexualised advertising? Is charity immune?

Body image and physically are consistently major issues discussed in the media and in advertising. In terms of the portrayal of women in these areas, there is a trend that we are drawn to four highlighted factors: eyes, lips, chest and legs. These four features are seen to be essential to the physical ‘female identity’.

Breast Cancer is the one of the most common types of Cancer diagnosed among women in Australia. As this disease is directly related to a part of the body (the breast) most usually associated with female ‘identity’ and ‘physicality’, some of the marketing around related charities have been seen to have sexualised Breast Cancer. In light of this, I propose a 1383496_10202284283848086_932759151_n-630x630.jpgcontent analysis of charity marketing materials including slogans such as “save the tatas” and “don’t let cancer steal second base”. I noticed that they were offensive and it could be said that it is sexually objectifying Breast Cancer. After reading an article ‘Breast cancer isn’t sexy’: Woman shares post-radiation images to show reality of disease’ from the Independent, it is notable that there is a growing reputation of Breast Cancer as a “sexy disease”. It refuted this with photographs and commentary from social media that illustrates the reality of Breast Cancer, it is something that goes beyond the breast itself, and have a very real emotional and physical toll on its sufferers.

As a result, the primary question I will address through my research is, “are we trying to make Breast Cancer sexier?”

In order to explore this question, most of my research will be based around secondary research and content analysis on the sexualisation of Breast Cancer. This will enable a well-rounded insight into this issue through reference to exisiting ideas and discourse, and also my original analysis of content.

As part of my own investigation I intend to conduct a poll on the general publics perception on the topic. I intend to ask questions to highlight how many people on various social media networks are aware of this sort of sexualisation, how effective are certain marketing slogans, and it would also be a useful way to analyse empathy towards Breast Cancer and the way it is portrayed.

Although due to the nature of the question I am aware of the ethical boundaries I am to face. When asking questions in my poll I am to be mindful, as well as the structure and expression in conveying meaning.

Pursuing the question will increase my own personal interest in the topic, as well as challenge curiosity, reflexivity and social responsibility. It allows us to identify how the sexualisation of such a controversial topic such as Breast Cancer stigmatises the subject and ultimately effects past, present and future patients.

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We are curious creatures

Why is it that we become so engrossed in the information we do not know? Why do we constantly hunt for answer? Why is it that without this knowledge we do not feel complete?

Curiosity is the answer.

“Curiosity is the organic building block of knowledge structure and is the key which has opened new vistas of thought and objective disciplines”. It is curiosity that drives society to understand the daily occurrence of life. Curiosity is what motivates individuals to discover themselves, obtain dreams and goals for the life ahead. Curiosity can be used to describe as well as used to explain behaviour. Although curiosity without exploration from a psychological stand point does not work, curiosity acts as a catalyst for motivation whereas exploration aids this and allows the individual to discover.

Everyone is curious, my curiosity drove me to self-diagnose myself after reading the credible Doctor Google.

A year or so ago, I experience a sharp pain in my abdomen. This was a pain that would not leave nor could not be cured by standard medication. I have had a long fear of doctors from needles to surgeries, every chance I can avoid seeing a doctor is to my own benefit. I prolonged looking into my pain, my mother and I began to become curious and decided to google what could potentially be causing the pain.

Probably the worst decision.

One of the 10 website my mother and I looked at described that I could potentially have a blood clot, locked away somewhere in my abdominal region. Another suggested to call the nearest doctor and schedule and MRI.

It was safe to say that I was fearing for my life, so instead I waited a day to notice that my pain had gradually faded away.

I think that curiosity presents itself in many different ways, it can drive you to discover knowledge that can better yourself, your future and the world around you. Whereas in other cases curiosity can lead you to explore what should be left in the dark.

In this case my curiosity allowed me to realise that I wasn’t actually dying.

While curiosity can be positive and negative, it is something humanity can never escape. It is apart of life to search for the unseen answers, to discover the hidden agendas of the world and more importantly partake in self exploration.

“The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.” – Albert Einstein 

Angels vs. Demons

The process of emotions often can be viewed as convoluted. Like a maze or as men like to think women, difficult to navigate and understand.Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 7.14.37 PM.png

Emotion is a concept that is derived from the psychological state of feeling, resulting in psychological and physical changes that influence behaviour and thought. So whilst your sobbing friend sits on their bed, crying “I’m a ball of emotion right now” they are not completely wrong.

Generally, it is said that thoughts are not enough to provoke emotions. Ultimately it is our perceptions and opinions that affect how we feel and think about things. For example our emotions change when rolls are reversed, when an individual perceives themselves as being a victim in a situation often emotions become vulnerable whereas being in the position of the higher power, we tend to feel empowered and confident.

While perception fuels our emotion, faith and belief empower our thoughts. “When you invest faith in a thought it becomes empowered and can generate emotions“. Investing in an idea or thought based on how you perceive what is going on, distinguishes the type of emotion you feel and how you act.

You could say that is our emotions that dictate who we are on a daily basis. But it is notable  that not all emotions are expressed.

The question “is everything okay?” often can be comforting and daunting. Why is it when we are feeling happy, loving or proud we never cease a moment to show the world. But when we are feeling distraught, disappointed or humiliated we hide behind a facade? I constantly wonder why we are told to conceal such emotions.

Growing up I was taught to never show defeat, to hide jealousy and fight envy. “Put on a brave face”, a phrase many have heard and hidden behind. At the best of times, this advice helped me to persevere through the toughest times although creating a habit of concealing these emotions.

It is a common thought that showing signs of weakness or fragility alters an image of a person. When one is feeling stressed, ordinarily they continue to submerge themselves in their work load or run from their battles. Being immersed in this social norm of hiding our negative feelings, it is resulting in a decline of communication along with the incline of health problem as a result of bottling emotion.

Characterising negative emotions urges us to defeat or override ‘demon’ rather than express and overcome. Effectively there is a time and a place for every situation, along with a wrong and right person.green-eyed-monster.jpg

Recently I had an encounter with the ‘green-eyed monster’, formally known as jealousy. Jealousy with a side of envy, honestly had me feeling out of place. Something that I had never allowed myself to feel, being in the position I was in along with my altered perception and external influence it ate away at me. Resulting in my personality changing in attempt to hide behind my own fake smile.

Honestly it got to a point where I crumbled, and finally how I felt finally was set in stone. Shortly after venting, I was able to step back and analyse the situation. I eventually realised that my own feelings were normal, yet it was external influences that altered my perception of the situation.

I use myself as an example because I’ve always hidden my emotions. I have been subject to torn relationships between family and friends, even the instances where hiding emotion from a partner drives a wedge between someone you love.

Ultimately there is a time and a place for everything. Expressing happiness and sadness, gratitude or ungratefulness. As a human we are designed to have emotion towards everything that occurs in life, it is humane to feel jealousy regardless of religious or societal perspective.

Expressing emotion has the ability to enhance our self-worth and better communication between you and others.

In saying this, everything is to be done at appropriate times and in expressed in the correct way. Running away from what we feel , sometimes does not allow us to fulfil who we truly are.

What we should be realising is that sometimes our green-eyed monster is not always the bad guy. Maybe sometimes its trying to tell us something, take a load off and make us realise that everything we do is counteracted by an emotion.

Don’t always fight it, express it.