Contemporary mass media romanticizes and glorifies emotionally abusive relationships which teen women can better understand by gaining greater media literacy.
Bella and Edward. Ross and Rachel. Carrie and Big. Chuck and Blair. Belle and the Beast. All examples of prominent relationships in media that evoke some sort of reaction from the general public. Big names and characters whose relationship was put on a pedestal for the world to see, and subconsciously promoting toxic behaviors that we now adopt into our everyday relationships without really thinking about it. I will be highlighting the way in which mainstream media’s favor of toxic relationships affects our view on what we deem to be a “perfect relationship” and how it can be damaging when attempting to form long lasting relationships, and why it’s important to have good media literacy to avoid them.
Without resources to help create a better understanding of the language of mass media, teen women will continue to model their real life relationships after the ones displayed in media. This is why it was important to me for this project to act as a resource for my audience to turn to when attempting to understand the ways in which the content they are consuming may be affecting their day to day lives. With this in mind, I decided upon creating a zine and Instagram account to act as these resources. The zine acts as the main source of information, while the Instagram account acts as the marketing and outreach for the audience’s attention.
I began my research by looking at couples such as Bella and Edward and their movie to fully understand their relationship and potential toxic traits being promoted within. I then set that research aside and looked into fully understanding the importance of media literacy, how media affects the minds of its audience and how those messages spread, and how mass media uses sexism to ultimately diminish teen women and promote the idea that women are inferior to men. With all of this information in mind, I cross referenced these tactics with the couples I researched earlier to find concrete examples of how these strategies are actively being used. Thus creating all of the article content written in the sugarcoating zine.