About Claudia Weaver

I and a photography student at Endicott College and ann currently taking a Media Ethics and Law course with Professor Lapointe.

Case in Point: Is Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” For Real?

Everything can be distinguished psychologically and perceived in different ways, especially in art. As a photographer, I have my own opinion to this matter, but can also view the sides of others. The Point Case study in the book Media ethics: Key principles for responsible practice, called “Dove’s ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ for Real?” illiterate an issue in 2004 when Dove focused on the visual components of a “real” women model called “Campaign for Real Beauty.” The parent company of Dove, Unilever, proclaimed how the commercial media of Dove is not viewing the “real” women appropriately to what they actually look like. Not only did Unilever focus on Dove, but its agency as well, Oglivy and Mather, creating a controversy between photography and common people. The revealing of what the behind the scenes process of the photo shopping was for each model shocked people who are inexperienced in this field. Check out this video to see: http://selfesteem.dove.us/Articles/Video/Evolution_video_how_images_of_beauty_are_manipulated_by_the_media.aspx

Stepping back from the moment, evaluating the history of what beauty is cause a difference between times. Make-up designing, body shapes, hairstyles alter per generation. In the 1400s to 1600s, curvaceous women were seen as sexy. This was one of the main moments in history that women as seen as a beautiful figure with their natural body. The Renaissance community considered women with lighter hair to be more appealing. It continues in to the late 1800s, but then alters into a more self-conscious body type with thinner waists and larger breasts. Of course this differs between countries, cultures, and ages. A feminist named Naomi Wold explains about the myth of beauty says, “Beauty is a currency system like the gold standard. Like any economy, it is determined by politics, and in the modern age in the West it is the last, best belief system that keeps male dominance intact.” (Integral Life). Humans’ sense of beauty is all in the mind.

Photographers, editors, graphic designers, and the viewers have a freedom to voice their own opinion. However, there must be a care on how we show the ideas. Immanuel Kant defines freedom in the book Media Ethics, “Freedom is not just another word…it defines us as a moral agent and thereby comes with a serious duty or obligation” (page 85). The creators of that image had the right to edit the photograph and subject to whatever extent. It is considered art. Unilever interviews Pascal Dangin, the photographer of the main Dove campaign, replying to the question about what he thinks of the editing, “But it was great to do, a challenge, to keep everyone’s skin and faces showing the mileage but not looking unattractive” (page 85). However, as much as artists have the freedom to edit a photo, there must be a clear obligation how the image is processed and not natural.

As human nature, we are attractive to symmetry. This can illiterate to objects as well as people. This includes similar noses within a community, eyes that are even, symmetrically designed jaw structures, etc. We all have an obligation to show that everyone is beautiful in their own individual way. As Kant explains about the dignity of human nature that forces people to get out of their comfort zone, “His articulation of the concept of transparency, through his theory of human dignity, challenges us with a question: Do we have the moral courage to do more than “talk the talk” about how we value truth and integrity, all the while exploiting people and situations when it’s convenient or sever our interests?” (page 84). There are people that “need” editing, but it is not our place to proclaim to them the issue. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Work Cited:

Bennett, C. (2013, March 8). No glow: Dove’s ‘Beautify’ reverts pics to raw state. Retrieved May 4, 2015, from http://www.hlntv.com/article/2013/03/08/dove-anti-retouching-photoshop-action-fake-beauty

Dabitch. (2008, May 9). Surprise! Dove “campaign for real beauty” was retouched. Retrieved May 4, 2015, from http://adland.tv/adnews/surprise-dove-campaign-real-beauty-was-retouched/1210339084

Fisher, V., & Wilber, K. (2009, February 11). Beauty and Feminism. Retrieved May 4, 2015, from https://www.integrallife.com/ken-wilber-dialogues/beauty-and-feminism

Plaisance, P. (2009). Media ethics: Key principles for responsible practice (pp. 84-86). Los Angeles: SAGE.

Richter, A. (n.d.). You Probably Wouldn’t Have Been Pretty By Ancient Standards.      Retrieved May 4, 2015, from http://allday.com/post/986-how-beauty-standards-have-changed-throughout-history/

The Evolution video – Dove Self Esteem Project. (n.d.). Retrieved May 4, 2015, from http://selfesteem.dove.us/Articles/Video/Evolution_video_how_images_of_beauty_are_manipulated_by_the_media.aspx

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Code of Ethics for Bloggers

Barstool Sports

by Claudia Weaver, Mary Sansone, Kristian Catalan, and Mike Pascal

Barstool is a popular sports and men’s lifestyle blog that was funded in Boston by David Portney. They tell juicy stories about athletes and women. Their aim is toward the common man.

Here are the following codes that Bloggers at this site should follow.

(Our presentation will go into more detail)

Do No Harm

Minimize personal offending which connects with privacy. Know who you are aiming at and the results that can occur. Such as what celebrity athlete or girl is being targeted and how are they being shown. There are limit to what people can handle. In the literature, try not be biased and have your aims responsive to both sides. This is something that barstool sports does not consider at times.

Privacy

Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.

Smokeshows; It could be ethically wrong for them to just take the pictures rather than ask that person if they could use them. Right to ask the permission

Tell the Truth

Be relevant and accountable for information given out. If the blog has something that might cause harm, have proof. There is freedom of speech letting the blog speak how they feel as necessary, but they must take into consideration of the whole society that is seeing this. Be transparent!

Stay Updated and Avoid Distractions

Advertising is a crucial way to get voices heard, but you cannot distract from aims. You must stay updated so that information can change and add to goals. This blog updates hourly which is good, but needs to make sure not to get in to the unimportant details or blowing up something no worthy.

Wag the Dog

Wag the Dog [Motion picture on DVD]. (1997). United States: New Line      Cinema.

Staring: Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Nero, Anne Hech, Willie Nelson, Kirsten Dunst, Woody Harrelson, and many more.

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A movie that grabs you due to color on the cover, famous actors, or just an interesting subject will be a prosperous movie seller. I chose Wag the Dog due to its surprising title. I had heard about the novel that the film was based on, American Hero by Larry Beinhart. I knew it wasn’t a about a dog, so why call the film Wag the Dog? The usual phrase is for the dog to wag its tail. I sat down with a bowl of cheese puffs and watched my curiosity. In the first 30 seconds the question of the title was quoted to intrigue a story,

“Why does a dog wag its tail?

Because a dog is smarter than its tail.

If the tail were smarter,

then tail would wag the dog” (time Wag the Dog).

This introduction gave the viewers a preview on the perception of how someone or a group who is usually behind the scenes of the action is the real brainpower in the influence of the advertising world.

Starting at the White House, we quickly learn the main characters are the secretaries and executives that are commercializing the president. There were many issues that progressed to creating a fake war after the president lost the people’s trust of the people by having a sexual assault with a Firefly girl. There are two main ethical boundaries events that occurred during the film that representing the most loss of credibility toward the presidential campaign.

First is the made up Albanian girl running through the fires to escape the war at her home. This would be categorized in the code of ethics of television and journalism. The video designed to look like a journalist videographer took it. Obviously, the fact it was all green screened, the woman isn’t Albanian, and the cat she is carrying is a bag of chips is breaking the journalist ethical law of, “Seek truth and report it. Journalists should be honest, fair, and courageous in gathering, reporting, and interpreting information.” (Media Law pg. 48). Television a false story goes against code of ethics in advertising as well, “ False or misleading statements or exaggerations, visual, or verbal” (pg 52). Falsely telling the public that there are people in Albania that are running for their live to this “war” is ethically wrong causing the presidency to lose credibility.

Second scene that goes against our advertising and societal ethics is the creation of a fake American hero. The characters take it even further by advertising of a fake American hero funeral on television. At this point in the movie, viewers are either extremely angry at the ethical unreasoning of the situation or impressed on how much effort it takes to create an imaginary war. This “pageant” was in such great detail, the crew even made sure there was a dog following the coffin to give the people a sense of connection of love. Expressing a bit of hope the people is not a bad thing, but creating hope after making the people sad and overwhelmed is socially unaccepted.

Is Modern Media Ethical?

Tom Cooper wrote an article depicting the factual evidence of people’s perspectives of the media. Now, there is a variety of media: Internet, tele, journalism, video game, cell phones, and more. After reading his inspirational piece, I went to interview five different people. Two were students in different parts of Massachusetts. One was a middle-aged woman named Donna Sherman, living in Worcester and two elderly couple who still follow up on the recent technology. I started out by relaying how ethics is the principles of a persons’ behaviour that is conducted by recognition by a set of a culture’s view of righteous. Using Cooper’s idea of asking a list of eight different categories and getting their issues. The topics were: television, Internet, video games, films, telephones, audio, print, and photography. Obviously not everyone can participate in all the categories such as the grandparents knowing too much about video games. However, I brought up these categories and simply asked them do you think today these certain medias are on an ethical standard that is appropriate. Each one answered, having different backgrounds at different ages, having a similar idea that the media has become less accurate, not appropriate for adolescence, and that there is too much negativity being spread. Credibility is the most important part of news, photojournalism, Internet articles, and so forth. In modern society were technology is prominent, there is the fear of fraud, hacking, biased opinions to persuade a viewpoint, and the privacy of everyday people. The two students that were interviewed both distrusted media such as news and Internet articles. They both were very tech savvy, but had more faith is a book then any article that could have been altered. As Katie Hummer, one of the students, said, “It is hard to tell what is reality versus someone making up lies. Something that was built for a educational truth such as Wikipedia now can be altered by any young foolish kid that wants to just leave a silly joke.” Cooper took a poll and in 2006 and had 4% agree with the inaccuracy of media. Anyone can access the Internet and people have the ability to say what they would like as long as they are persuasive. Since it is easy access for anyone, which would mean children could access. Today adolescents are exposed to more then only a couple decades did. Three of my interviewees are over 50 years old and all proclaim, yes there was some rebellion in their age, but they were not introduced to violence, the sexual impulsions, and the negativity so early in life. . Elaine Sherman, now 80 years old, irritated explained her view of children, “The kids of today can be just as clever and sweet as anyone back when I was young, but they have so many distractions of this time that their brains are being filled with nonsense instead of knowledge.” Donna Sherman proclaimed this to be true in her interview and gave the example that she saw a 6 year old googling new words she learned on her own iPhone while her mother was grocery shopping. This “nonsense information could be considered as profanity, pornography or violence. Violence is a huge concern to people, especially parents. Cooper also polled a group’s ideas of video games as got some calculations, “Three of the four most highly ranked concerns about video games raise ethical issues: violence (“vio- lence/killing cops”) 47%, interactive violence (“being a sniper”) 9%, and causing problems in the society (“causes violence”) 7%.” Today young growing figures, and I include myself in this generation, are being persuaded whither slightly or abruptly to view things very differently then what are ethical standards believed a century ago. Violence, sexual perfections, and lying create negativity into the world. Not every single media company will do these things. There are some wonderful reliable journalists, editors, photographers, and creators, technicians that are truthful to their moral rights. However, the amounts that are going against the ethical standards of society have been increasing which creating negativity throughout the society. Violence is being broadcasted more commonly on the news then good deeds. Advertising has become more sexual wither is be putting a pear next to a bikini, women thin as a twig in high heels semi nude, or a man with oversized muscles and long locks. The sexuality is creating a “perfect image” for the people. Lastly, and more prominent is the lying. It is something that we hear and when we learn a fact is untruthful, it is complicated to gain the trust back. The world has changed greatly from what it was decades ago with technology, expansion of international borders, entertainments. That is why Cooper knows that his polls and ratings will need to update frequently because as he writes, “Polls may reflect the national mood for only a week, month, year, or decade.” In this modern word the media is still our entertainment, but it is drastically setting a negative ethical boundary on the growing world. Resources: Cooper, T. (2008). Between the Summits: What Americans Think About Media Ethics. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 15-27. Sherman, Donna. Media Law and Ethics [Interview]. (n.d.). Taing, Melissa. Media Law and Ethics [Interview]. (n.d.). Hummer, Katie. Media Law and Ethics [Interview]. (n.d.). Sherman, Elaine. Media Law and Ethics [Interview]. (n.d.). Sherman, Jack. Media Law and Ethics [Interview]. (n.d.).

My Philosopher: Plato

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Historical theories from the world allow us to base our own ethical and moral theories we learn as children and on a daily basis to determine our life decisions, professionally and personally. Plato is just one of the critical figures that have created a basic layout of how societies should be balanced. He was born in 428 B.C.E and passed away eighty years or so later. Since he was conceived in one of the most thriving cities of Greece, Athens, during the Age of the Pericles, he was in the perfect position to meet such influential people such as Socrates, his teacher, and his student Aristotle. Plato was born into a wealthy family during this period when monarchy was eliminated by Cleithere’s introduction to democracy after the tyranny of Isagoras. The progressing introduction to democracy and philosophy were creating the “cradle of democracy in the western civilization” (Prastacos). Many professors today call this the Golden Age due to its centre for arts and learning. As Professor Jeremy McInerney Ph.D. first expresses to his students when taking the Age of Pericles courses at the University of Pennsylvania, “We call it the “Golden Age”—the period during the 5th century B.C. when the Greek city-state of Athens experienced a cultural flowering of extraordinary power and importance for Western culture” (McInerney). Since people were progressing in their ideas, society could not consider Plato to be disliked. Especially after the execution of Socrates, Plato had many friends since people were blaming the teacher of treason for corrupting the youth, which is written and described in Plato’s Apology. However, the political sides of society, that Plato strived to avoid, did not agree with his theoretical ideas new aspects on religions.

Plato was a teacher as well as a student and was able to learn his ethical philosophy from Socrates and continue them through his Academy and pupils such as Aristotle. His pupil created Aristotelianism, which replicated the basics of Plato’s doctrine with a more rough tone. Platonism, or Plato’s doctrine on lifestyle, is explained especially well in the book called The Mind of Plato, by A.E. Taylor. The author’s description of the philosopher’s ethical theories originated from Plato’s words, “Man’s life is a perpetual search for something he has not got, though without it he can never be at peace with himself” (Taylor (1960), 12). In a unity, he wanted to express that our happiness does not depend on what we aim for, but how we use it. On the following diagram I simplified the categorization of his terms. From a modern perspective, people interpret that the reason is what gives the passion a purpose, which contains humans’ desires. Human nature makes our psyche have different parts that we have to learn to harmonize. A simple example is eating sweets on a diet. Our reasoning is that if we eat sweets it will obviously not help with getting fitter. Then there is the desire to eat the delicious goodness because we crave it. The Passion in between is when we take into consideration what we learned or what we are striving for, such as losing 5lbs. Mastering our own desires and passions with reason allows us to be in control of ourselves. With all of Plato’s works incorporated in our philosophical beliefs during such a crucial era, we now consider it to be common sense.

Plato TriangleQuote

400 years after Plato’s death our society has gathered writings, 13 letters, manuscripts, and books that endlessly elaborate Platonism. Plato’s beliefs have incorporated into modern beliefs since it was introduced during this influential time of the Golden Age. He had a few poetic pieces, however he strongly opposed poetry calling it, “Inspiration negatives responsibilities; you get no personal credit for the good you do while inspired” (Moravcsik, 138). Plato, after learning a bit from Socrates, believed that enthousiasmos was coming from a source of madness, similarly to cults and possessive religions. A quote by A.E. Taylor in the book Platonism and It’s Influence said, “His influence, like the pressure of the atmosphere, goes undetected because we never really get free from it” (Taylor (1963), 57). Plato’s style of thinking has become incorporated in our traditional lives.

Reference Page 

McInerney, J. (2014, January 1). Age of Pericles. Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/age-of-pericles.html

Moravcsik, J., & Temko, P. (1982). Plato and the Poets. In Plato on beauty, wisdom, and the arts (Vol. 1, pp. 1-150). Totowa, N.J.: Rowman and Littlefield.

Prastacos, P., Soderquist, A., & Wang, P. (2011, June 14). Ancient Culture Greek and Civilization. Retrieved February 10, 2015, from http://www.leadershipclassics.org/AncientGreekCulture&Civilization.html

Taylor, A. (1960). Life and Writings. In The mind of Plato (originally Plato). Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press.

Taylor, A. (1963). The Rule of Life. In Platonism and its influence (pp. 1-131). New York: Cooper Square.

Google. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2015, from philosopher plato

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