January 25, 2011

Keep On Learning: Stuff Mom Never Told You

Here's my second How Stuff Works podcast feature. This time it is from Stuff Mom Never Told You. Molly and Cristen cover a wide variety of topics that mostly have to do with gender issues.

I have a friend who was an Assistant Resident Hall Director with my our senior year of college. We worked for the same Hall Director. I've known him since we started college but it was a good time for us to get to know one other better. He his a social work/psychology major working on his Master's Degree in Gender Studies (I think...) Anyways, last year we had so many great conversations that had to do with gender studies and it got me really interested in the topic. We had a phone chat this weekend and it was really fun to be able to have a good discussion with him again. His main passion is mens studies and working with males and their masculinity.

When I found this channel on How Stuff Works I was immediately intrigued and of course had to tell him about them. Here are some of the ones I found most interesting so far:

A couple of my favorites so far are "Are Disney Princesses Good Roll Models?", "What's with Racy Halloween Costumes?", and "Barbie's Secret Past." Mostly because of the issues they discuss with how things like that effect the minds of young girls and how certain things influence their lives as they get older.

I get torn between the two sides. On one hand believing that they really do have a huge effect on girls and how they see themselves at such a young age to how they feel they should look and act as they get older. On the other hand, sometimes it seems that parents get a little too hysterical about things like that. I've come to think that it is a bit both.

With the Disney Princess one, they talk about how some people believe that the message is that the only thing important in life is being beautiful and finding the love of your life. Once you do, you're life is complete. Those are one of the things I think people start to think too much about.

On the other hand, during the Barbie podcast they start talking and comparing Barbie (who really has an interesting past in starting out as a sex doll in Germany...and Ken is actually her brother. I know....scary) to the Bratz Dolls. I personally think that the Bratz Dolls are disturbing and should have more clothes put on them...

There are so many things that affect and drive our lives now days. The media can be so overwhelming. I was thinking while I was listening to "Is My Brain Making Me Buy Things I Don't Need" how kind of ironic it was that I was listening to it. They were discussing some of the psychology behind it. It's so strange listening to that being a graphic designer while fully understanding the psychology behind an advertisement. I find it funny to think it is people in my profession influencing people to purchase things. My brain doesn't know what to do when I enter a store sometimes. Usually the human in me says, "I want!" and the designer in me says, "Really? You should know better."

I could go on and on about this topic...But I won't.


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