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July 25, 2012 / NextStepU

No! Tomkat is over?! Why I shouldn’t care…but do.

As a student studying communication, I’m no stranger to analyzing various media content, from analyzing the songs we listen to on the radio to how television can act as a “window of reality” to young kids (see Mom – I do pay attention in school!) Anyway, because I’m so used to reading into everything I hear or watch or listen to, you would think that I would be completely adverse to anything involving celebrity culture. “Ah, it’s just a means of us searching for our ideal selves,” a good scholar like me would say, “’tis not to be taken seriously forsooth it is not reality.” (I don’t know why scholars speak in an old Scottish accent).

You would think I would know enough to actually say things like that. But you think wrong.

No, I’m no better than any watcher of “Entertainment Tonight” or reader of People; I love my celebrity culture.

But as I turn the pages of my gossip magazine, I sometimes wonder what makes the whole phenomenon so captivating. Why is it just so rewarding to decide who looked better in that outfit? (Answer: never Kim Kardashian. Because she is an awful human being). Why is it so much fun to put down the casting choices for books being made into movies? (He is NOT attractive enough to be Edward. I don’t care how much he sparkles). Why, most disturbingly, is it impossible to look away from the latest Hollywood train wreck and shake our heads sadly and wonder how they could have fallen so far?

I don’t have an answer to those questions. But maybe the fact of considering those questions at all is the first step in figuring out if it’s wrong or not to care so much.

I’m not saying to toss your In Touch magazine into the closest trash bin or erase all of your web history on PerezHilton.com. All I ask is that you consider why you respond the way you do to the actions of celebrities. “They” say it all the time, but behind the flashbulbs, celebrities are people too, so it’s rather unfair to judge them based on the little snippets of their lives we get through media. (So, sorry for that comment before Kim Kardashian. Since you are so obviously reading this).

And that, readers, concludes my lecture about media literacy! Think of this post as a mini summer course on media to keep your brain ticking on your months off. (That wasn’t so bad was it?)

Now go and show off to your friends how media literate you are. You know they’ll be impressed!

Until next time, your media literacy expert,

Laura

 

**P.S. For those of you who don’t understand my title, Tomkat is clearly in reference to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ (who had the clever couple name: Tomkat) recent, devastating divorce. So wrong to be concerned about, so hard to look away.

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