Representation is a media creation which covers the ways that the media portrays particular groups, communities, experiences, ideas, or topics from a particular ideological or value perspective. The word representation can be broken down into two parts which helps us to understand the meaning as the media ultimately re – present reality into their own context.
Slide Share (2012) ‘Media Representation in music video’ Jess Hyde
Stereotypes are representations of people that rely on preconceived ideas about the group that person is perceived as belonging to. It is seen as a visual shortcut for people to gain easy access to someone’s character even if it is not correct. The whole concept is based on generalisations and stereotyping someone is often seen as a negative thing as it encourages audiences to think that certain groups of people are all the same.
An archetype can be described as the ultimate stereotype and usually shows a very detailed and specific type of person. It can be seen as the perfect example of a type or group that is usually stereotyped.
Countertypes are usually much more positive than both stereotypes and archetypes as they challenge the common used stereotypes and go against what people typically think and perceive about a certain group of people. It focus’ on the positive elements of a group that are usually associated as being bad
Groups of common stereotypes include:
‘Like a girl’ Advert
In class we looked at this advert about what it means to do something “like a girl” and I feel is a good way of showing the meaning of a stereotype. There seems to be a negative stigma surrounding the phrase ‘like a girl’ and there is a notion that if a girl does something it wont be as good as if a man does it. This is of course a stereotype towards females and although this generalisation has been proven wrong by many athletes, writers and so on, the way the majority of the people in the video respond to this phrase shows how this pre-conceived notion is still apparent. Despite this however the young girl at the end of the clip does every action asked of her to her best ability showing that following stereotypes is not something you’re born with and is something people tend to judge as they get older as an easy way of accessing someone else’s character.
TV Show Representation Task
I decided to chose characters from the British TV Soap Opera ‘Hollyoaks’ as there are such a wide range of characters in the show that all in some way help to portray both stereotypical and counter-typical type character.
Stereotypical Character – Mercedes McQueen from Hollyoaks
Saptono. A (2015) ‘Best celebrity biographies’
The stereotypical character I have chose is a young adult female character that has been apart of the show for a long time. The reason I have chosen her as a stereotype is because of how she is shown as a typical sex symbol that often wears short skirts and dates a lot of men. Some of the reasons as to why she would be seen as a stereotype include:
- She has dated a lot of different men throughout the show
- She likes to party and goes out and gets drunk a lot
- Wears dresses, leopard print, large hoop earrings and short skirts in every episode
- Lives in a small house with all her family including cousins and aunties
- She had affair with her boyfriend’s father
Countertype character – Trevor from Hollyoaks
‘Trevor Royle’ (2016) Hollyoaks
I decided to chose this character as just from looking at his physical appearance we would look like a typical stereotypical gangster character, however the reason I chose him as a countertype is that once you see his personality and his interests you realise he is actually not gangster like at all. If you were to judge the character from just from his appearance you would not see the qualities that make him a countertype and instead would just stereotype him as being dodgy or shady looking. Elements that make this character a countertype include:
- Physically looks like a typical gangster
- Usually wears all black with a leather jacket and has tattoos on his knuckles
- Wants to have a baby and settle down
- Loves his pet goldfish and constantly talks about them
- Has PTSD and sees a councillor, has an emotional side which would not normally be associated with a gangster type character
BBC (2016) ‘What is representation?’ Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/z9fx39q/revision/1 (Accessed: 18 November 2016).
List of Hollyoaks characters (2013) Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hollyoaks_characters_(2013)#Trevor_Royle (Accessed: 18 November 2016).
‘Trevor Royle’ (2016) Hollyoaks Wikia Available at: http://hollyoaks.wikia.com/wiki/Trevor_Royle (Accessed: 18 November 2016).
Saptono. A (2015) ‘Best celebrity biographies’ Available at: https://bestcelebritybiographies.blogspot.co.uk/2015_05_01_archive.html (Accessed: 18 November 2016).
Slide Share (2012) ‘Media Representation in music video’ Jess Hyde. Available at: http://www.slideshare.net/Jesshyde/media-representation- in-music-video (Accessed: 20 November 2016).
Always (2014) Always #LikeAGirl. Available at: https://youtu.be/XjJQBjWYDTs (Accessed: 20 November 2016).