Wednesday 30 April 2014

Initial Ideas

Context of Practice Ideas.
My essay is based on Consumerism, on how women are effected by this, and how it molds people into thinking a certain way.

Quote from my essay.
Not only women but also young girls are influenced by this idea of being perfect and beautiful. ‘It has been suggested that all children pass through a narcissistic phase where they become entranced by their own self-image.’ (Coward, R. 2000. Page36). This is known as the mirror stage, where children start to be able to see themselves for the first time, and are able to pass judgment on themselves. It is something that is brought upon them at a young age, where they are vulnerable to things such as Snow White (fig 2), things that we think are innocent and just a fairy tale actually communicate a negative message to children. At this “mirror” stage in life young girls and boys will be subliminally taking what is taught in fairy tales such as Snow White and applying them in life. Young girls believing that she will only find her “Prince Charming” if she is “the fairest of them all”, and young boys believing that they shouldn’t be with anyone unless they are the “the fairest of them all”. ‘In a recent study of high school girls, 53 percent were unhappy with their bodies by age thirteen; by age eighteen and over, 78 percent were dissatisfied.’ (Wolf, N. 1990. Page185) Starting from a young age society makes girls/women believe that they should look a certain way, and women find themselves forever trying to improve the way they look to get to the ideal version of themselves.  But they will never fully get there as there is always something else that needs changing, or some other product that is now available to enhance your assets, Coward supports this by saying, “Women’s relation to their own self-image is much more likely to be dominated by discontent (…) ’I’m not attractive enough’.” (Coward, R. 2000. Page37) Therefore no matter what women do, and no matter how many products they buy to enhance themselves, they will never be content.

I will be basing my practical for CoP on this paragraph from my essay. From a young age children are brought up to believe that they want to be a Princess and that you will only find love and happiness if you are beautiful. In my practical I want to try and oppose this, showing that life isn't like a fairy tale. I would try and do this by creating a new children's book, creating a new Princess, one like no other, living a normal life as an average girl.

I started by looking into the current Princesses, and seeing what they included in their fairy tales. I think that it would be good to include different things from different stories to link my story to the rest of the other fairy tales.

Using things like a mirror would represent the mirror used in Snow White, but it would also show the 'Mirror Stage' which is what I want to base my publication on, showing how children are effected by the mirror stage. I think that it would work well if the book started with the young girl looking in the mirror and seeing herself for who she is, then after one day of being exposed to lots of consumerism she comes back and looks in the mirror to see a monster, showing how consumerism makes young girls or any girl feel about themselves and how they look. Throughout this process I want to include iconic objects in the book for example the apple from snow white, the rose from beauty and the beast and the glass slipper from sleeping beauty.

After research how to write a children's story I started to try and write a plot for what could happen through the publication. The main events, the evil characters and the, making the story dramatic so that there is a problem and the question is, does it get solved or not. There should be a lesson that will be learned for childrens stories so I need to make sure that I have one.

I thought that it would be easier if I broke it up into sections so that I can write about each section, then put it all together. After writing all of these things out I got really stuck, I started to think that this was going nowhere. I think that a change of direction would be good, as I think I would be able to create another fairy tale, but I don't think that it will be very interesting.

Looking into other ideas, on the same concept, trying to show children how life isn't like a fairy tale and not everyone gets the happy ending. I started to think about Disney Princesses and the message they send, and how I could make a practical design from this showing how consumerism effects young children. I could create Snow White from the view of the evil Queen, or create a new princess and brand her, rather than creating a story, or I could do alternative endings for the Princesses so that they don't get the Prince or live happily ever after.

Making a publication full of alternative endings would work really well with my essay. It would show children that no matter how pretty you are, you don't always get the Prince, because there is more to life than just looks, and not everything ends the way it does in fairy tales. After deciding that this would be the best option for me to go with, I started to look into the endings that each of the Princesses could have. I also did some Primary research asking 20 children within the age of 8 - 14 who their top five Disney Princesses are.

Cinderella - 20
Snow White - 20
Belle - 15
Araura - 14
Ariel - 12
Jasmin - 7
Tiana - 6
Rapunzel -4
Mulan - 1
Pocahontas -1
Brave - 0

After seeing these results I decided to include the top few in my publication working on those ones first so that I can get the most popular fairy tales done.

I think that for my practical CoP, I want to avoid the obsessive love, where they fall in love at first sight, or in Ariel's case, fall in love at first sound. I think that young children need to see that it sometimes take more than this, especially avoiding the vanity in the fact that the Princes fall in love with the Princess at first sight, suggesting it is soley because of her looks. I think that it would be better for my to work with Princesses that fight for their love, as this is more related with life, showing that its not always simple. Relationships often take some work, nothing comes easy in life, and this is a life lesson I want to teach on my publication.

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