Author: ll58

Looking Through the Lens of Cultural Differences: How social media in different cultures shape ideal woman body

We all know that how profound the contents on social media could affect our thoughts and further form or sway our existed ideology towards various types of things; the ideal woman body for instance, has always been depicted and transformed into different versions that respectively meets the social expectation of each culture. Social media play an important role in the shaping of the perfect and expected woman body images that implant into people’s minds, making female pursue those body shapes that would help them meet the social expectation as well as build up self-esteem. Let’s take a closer look at how ideal woman body images are being presented on social media among United States and China and how people’s thoughts and behaviors are affected by them.

Among all kinds of social media, Instagram has the strongest photo-orientation; we are more emotional and somehow “inevitable” to contents presented as the form of photography over words. Oftentimes I hear people joking around saying that “United States is all about booty!”, since it doesn’t completely reflect the entire society, it’s still somewhat a true phenomenon on Instagram. The fact is that in United States, girls tend to post photos that emphasize some parts of their bodies (especially butt if they do squat a lot!) that generates an overwhelming social syndrome in which people’s aesthetics toward woman body becomes superficial: a well shaped butt is a must. This interesting article points out how America’s “ideal” butt has changed over times. Perhaps we should really consider if the way we judge a beauty based on partials of her body is a mature way of showing our respect.

The industry of social media celebrity is thriving recently, especially in Asia in these 2 or 3 years or so. We could see increasingly larger number of female and male following social media celebrities to keep up with the mainstream in the public. Among them, there are many celebrities who have done plastic surgeries to beautify themselves. Therefore, those “fashion” followers would take in the ideology and imitate the behaviors, whether consciously or unconsciously. Like this video from BBC portrayed, many girls secretly go to plastic surgery without telling parents to make themselves more “perfect” even though they are actually already pretty enough. Asian generally don’t have the big and abstruse eyes as people from western countries do, but they all want stereo faces and eyes like that. Now in Asia, not to mention Korea where the plastic surgery industry is already well developed, facial plastic surgery (especially for the double eyelid operation) is quite prevalently common as well in China. As mentioned in the article “Why double eyelid surgery is on the rise in Asia: rising incomes and acceptance, and star power of Fan Bingbing, Angelababy”, the famous stars and popular celebrities have great impact on people’s ideology about beauty. “They no longer think plastic surgery is a big deal.” said Cao Jiwu, the president from an aesthetic and plastic hospital.

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– by Lixuanpin Liu and Kevin Chou

Genres in Films and TV from Different Cultures

Movies shape cultures while they are the products from the culture. Cultures influence how we think and behave. Film and TV industries as a great part of popular media are, with no doubt, a great reflection of the society and culture that we live in.

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We can see from the picture of a visualization on movie references over the last 100 years that movies about history and war in America are quite a small portion compared to the whole. The data came from the internet movie database (IMDB, an online movie community with 42 million users) consisting of movie enthusiasts that linked movies by the references they made to other movies.

As Chinese, I was raised up with the education about greatly profound history of China. From my perspective, the most genres in Chinese movie and TV industries are history, war, and action(Kung Fu or ancient martial art). Chinese have really deep emotions about their history. And we could see that characteristic of them from most of the works made in China. They could always show a greatly magnificent scene in ancient empire of China. Of course wars come with the long history to get what the country is now. So there were many movies and TV shows describing the situation when China was in war and how they fought to manage the success and survive through. Also, the feature of martial arts (known as Chinese Kung Fu around the world) is another special one in movies and TV shows. Even for fantasy genres, there are still some reflection of history and martial art mixed within. Also, the characters transporting through time would land in somewhere in ancient China rather than in the future.

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Startling by Each Step

In the U.S., people are more creative, adventurous and full of imagination about the future. We could learn those cultures from their movies and TV products as well. Continue reading “Genres in Films and TV from Different Cultures”

Influence of “Social” “Media” platforms

Now most people are living in a fast-speed life with so many things to do and so little time to hold. We are all realizing that social media change the world in an inevitable way since many of us use social media in most of time every day. Takeout Apps, digital payment technology, online shopping become indispensable in our life. And we have to admit, they are significantly changing our society and ideology.

Among “Media”, Facebook, with billions of global users, definitely is the one we must talk about everytime it comes to social media. Facebook connects the world altogether to a huge “global village”. According to this article, Facebook changed the world in many ways. It provides a platform for people all over the world to share their life, and to obtain and understand new perspectives from others. Also, it brings groups of people with similar perspectives and interests together as a community. Social media like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and etc, offer things based on individuals’ movements like what links they clicked on and what kinds of information they are interested in, or spend more time on it. It makes people live in a “filter bubble” that the media create to provide personalized information.

For “Social” influence, Asia plays an importantly large component in the huge amount of users of those worldwide social media, except for China, which blocks some social media platforms from the US. So what social media are prevalent in China when people couldn’t use those? WeChat is the booming platform that Chinese are widely using these years, details from this article. It has so many applications used to implement their life. With WeChat, people don’t even need cash or credit cards to manage everything almost everywhere they go. Seen in the picture, it could send money interpersonally like Venmo, as well as between individuals and stores, restaurants, and websites. Besides texting, voice chatting and video chatting with others, people could get a taxi, pay bills, donate, buy tickets, order food delivery, book hotels, and shop in this little but powerful platform. Besides, Weibo is another quickly thriving media, which would be the very platform when famous celebrities and actors promote and communicate with fans in China. Moreover, there are many other platforms in China that have various functions to easily apply in daily life. “Red packets” is a traditional heritage that Chinese maintain from long ago. The development of social media even changed this very tradition, transmitting from physical packets for children to “grabbing packets” for everyone, which becomes a favorable activity in Chinese Spring Festival.

 

It seems awesome right? However, additionally it brings problems and concerns in this developed internet world. People start to consider their privacy and health of usage online. Problems come with convenience, like this article mentioned about worldwide cashless society around the world. Therefore, we need to keep a critical mind while enjoying the convenience that social media bring to us and being cautious at the same time during the usage of social media like Facebook, WeChat, and other kinds of platforms.

by Lixuanpin Liu

Asian female are all supposed to be thin?: Ideology and stereotypes about female body shapes around the world (East vs. West)

    Those differences of ideas on media show different ideologies between different cultures. According to the article, people from different countries have different “perceptions of perfection”. For East countries such as China, Korea, and Japan, people see skinny arms and legs as beauty. Recently a TV show get really popular in China and a picture of one scene in the show below got quite popular online. The leading actress of this show is a famous young actress named Shuang Zheng. Her name was on top search lists online a while ago, and guess what? her legs was on the lists too! I saw many posts such as ‘Shuang Zheng has brought attention to “cartoon legs”, the standard went back to “the skinnier the better?”‘ Many people think that is quite beautiful, posting “I want those too!” According to them, “Cartoon legs” are surreally thin and straight just like aesthetically portrayed in cartoons. Before this, her legs used to be as thin as bamboo sticks for a while, which were even worse than now, and people were talking about her like “OMG! This is so scary! Eat something!” She said because of the pressure from what people said online she lost weight severely. A doctor said that she was on a suicidal diet to lose weight. 183870CFFE474570422149635F48AA24105CD5C4_size116_w730_h548    Media plays a hugely important role in influencing people’s way of beauty appreciation. As Hollywood movie industry developed, people started to take Marilyn Monroe’s sexy body type as perfection. On TV and in movies, we always see figures in thin even very skinny bodies as mainstream. As I grew up in China, I saw so many girls trying to lose weight because they thought they were so fat. Many girls in China think that weighting more than 50kg is fat. So as a 172cm-tall girl, I used to be embarrassed to say my weight. After I enter US, It seems that American people are not pursuing merely being skinny that much in general. Despite the fact that in ads most characters as thin supermodels present things on their perfect body, I found that American people are more interested in women’s busts and hips when it comes to body standards. According to this article, ideal body weight varies in different people’s eyes, but generally passive in different cultures.  There is more dissatisfaction with weight Among Asian children while others such as under African American or Latino cultures don’t pursue lean that much.

Although most people would think that Asians are all skinny, the ideology about body types among Asian is gradually changing by some arguments about body types in this new media era. Like the girls show us in the video from BuzzFeed, they are who they are as Asians, even though they are expected to be thin, which is a stereotype for Asian women. So are you going to join them to break the rules defining what beauty is and stop the vicious cycle of stereotypes toward women’s body? I am because it would be a great choice to live a happier life for us all!

      —— by Lixuanpin Liu