Negative Effects of Popular Media Essay example

1664 Words Jul 4th, 2012 7 Pages
Oletha Moore
April 25, 1997
Humanities 490

Seeing Is Believing: Negative Effects
Of Popular Media On
Society’s Views of Disabled People

Social Therapists teach that much of what we learn is the result of observation, in which we pay attention to what people do and say, and notice the consequences of their behavior. Also, Richard MacCann shares that “the best method to begin [sic] discovering the truth about something is to observe that thing and the circumstances surrounding it”. The latter, however, certainly appears to be lacking in popular media’s portrayals of people with disabilities. The manners in which they are depicted are oftentimes distorted, and thus encourage society’s members to exhibit acts of pity, fear,
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To demonstrate the power of influence that popular media has on our views of disabilities, I will provide my own reactions to a couple of movies and one television program that I have seen. First, is “What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?” It is a movie about two middle-aged sisters who set out to destroy each other’s lives as a result of sibling jealously. Baby Jane, portrayed by Bette Davis, was a well-known child star of Broadway entertainment, and for this reason her father favored her more than his other daughter Blanche, portrayed by Joan Crawford. As time passed, both sisters had obtained careers in the movie industry, but it was Blanche who had the more controlling position of power - she had the final say on the movies and roles that Baby Jane would be involved. Baby Jane humiliated Blanche while attending a party one night, and in retaliation, Blanche conveniently blamed Baby Jane, who had been heavily drinking, for an auto accident that left her (Blanche) forever paralyzed and dependent on the use of a wheelchair. Out of guilt, Baby Jane gave up her acting career and social life to become a live-in caregiver to Blanche who saw this as a perfect opportunity to humiliate Jane for rest of her life. The effects of many years of mental abuse from Blanche, Jane grew to dislike her more than ever before, for not only did she turn to alcohol for consolance, her

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