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Media and Minorities - Book Report/Review Example

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Media and Minorities

Body hair is animalistic; hairlessness connotes striving above nature. The climax of Gli amori di Ercole has Hercules fighting a giant ape, who has previously behaved in a King Kong-ish way towards Hercules's beloved Dejanira, stroking her hair and when she screams making as if to rape her; close-ups contrast Hercules's smooth, hairless muscles with the hairy limbs of this racist archetype. (Dyer)
Here Dyer points out how the uppermost echelon of masculinity is equated with shaven white muscle, through its very contrast to that of hair apes, who are historically associated with blackness. He acknowledges the racist aspects of this archetype, but also gives notice to the private boys' club-like tradition that has formed from this prejudice. This same ideal of exclusion is expressed in Gamy Robson's Millwall Football Club: Masculinity, Race and Belonging in which the author points out how Millwall Football Club is a devout fan base-community that excludes those who aren't born within it and those of different races. In western culture, muscular bodies are associated with much leisure time, discipline, and affluence. Dyer also makes the Christian connection that a muscular body connotes pointing out the ideal of finding salvation or purity through the experience of pain. He points out that historically body building culture has been an equal opportunity medium when he says,
Bodybuilding as an activity has a relatively good track record in terms of racial equality. From the 1950s on, non-white men - and especially those of African descent - became major figures in bodybuilding competitions. Yet the dominant images of the built body remain white. Kenneth Dutton (1995: 232) points out that black bodybuilders are rare on the cover of Muscle and Fitness, the bodybuilding magazine now most responsible for establishing and promulgating the image of the sport. (Dyer)

Within the world of contemporary bodybuilding, this view has been greatly contrasted considering the current popularity top African American bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman, but even still, unless a particular bodybuilder is professional the chance of them finding their way on the cover of a magazine without being white is still sparse. Thus pointing out that, bodybuilding culture is one of great prejudice. Dyer states that the culture itself in western society ideologically is connected as far back as the Greek era, when they believed that to improve the physical structure through body building was to bring it that much closer to divinity. While bodybuilding ideologically separates the white man from the beast, the black man is the beast. This creates the misconception that to be white is to be masculine and to be black is to be animalistic.
Dyer identifies this theme of white superiority and masculinity being plaid out in modern day film by connecting it with Arnold Schwarzenegger and his character in the film the Terminator.
Schwarzenegger's films contain nothing so agonised, and he has been cast as a machine in the Terminator films (1984 and 1991) rather than as a machine's opponent. Schwarzenegger, as a multiple Mr Olympia winner, is always already a champion ...Show more


Prejudice ideology is an inherent part of the social world, but in western culture its effects are more apparent in film and on the television. The media's depiction of ethnic groups, women and religious factions has a dynamic influence on the way in which these groups are perceived within their communities, and the orchestrates behind these depictions are as connected to the public as the stereotypes themselves…
Author : cronajake
Media and Minorities essay example
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