How Ads Manipulate the Public

Image result for pathos ad

The ad I chose to analyze is one from the car brand BMW. The purpose of the ad is to highlight the dangers of drinking and driving, which is a very good cause. However, it is still an ad, so there are many ways it is designed to make the audience support the brand behind it. This particular image has a very strong focal point, which is the bottom half of a pair of legs and feet, one real and one prosthetic. The focal point is emphasized through the blurred out background and light, neutral background color. Based on the floor tiles, it looks as if the person is standing in a hospital hallway or room, further emphasizing the lasting impact of drinking and driving on someone’s health and how long it can take to recover. Not only would an accident affect the individual, but it would have a devastating impact on their families as well. Since the legs are the focus of the image, the viewer can clearly see what the negative impacts of a possible car crash could be that was caused by drinking and driving.

Most likely, the person in the image was not a drunk driver and was just an innocent person who did not have any idea the accident would happen. The parallel of a real and prosthetic leg is alarming and could be seen as somewhat disturbing, particularly to the vast primary audience, which is people who drive cars. The cold, smooth looking metal and parts of the prosthetic is a stark contrast and seems too perfect compared to the real human leg, with bones and imperfections. It is meant to make the viewer feel a certain way by employing pathos, whether it be sad or scared or a combination of the two. This ad is meant to encourage people not only to not drink and drive, but to encourage everyone to be a safer and more aware driver in general because you never know what a careless act could lead to.

Another aspect of the image is the text that goes along with the legs: “Spare parts for humans are not as original as those for cars. Don’t Drink and Drive.” The font is very simple and the message is straightforward- drinking and driving is not worth getting severely injured or losing body parts. This is a clear use of logos as a rhetorical strategy by creating a sensible, easy message to understand. Choosing the color black for the text creates a contrast when put in front of the light background so it is clear and easy to see. The comparison of a prosthetic and car part highlights how serious losing a limb and having to use a prosthetic can be. The text is to the right of the legs because they want the viewer to see the legs first and then read the text to get the full effect of the message.

The BMW logo is very small and is under the text in the corner to ensure that the focus is on the message they are trying to get across rather than mainly promoting the brand of cars itself. There is text right above the logo that says: Issued in Public Interest by BMW. When writing that it is for public interest, the intention of the ad is made very clear. Since a car brand created this ad, by putting their logo on it they are trying to send the message that if you get this car, you will be making a safer option because safety is clearly the company’s priority. They are trying to get the audience to do a certain action, which is to avoid drinking and driving. The brand appears to be one that is worthy of supporting by buying their cars because they care about all people, appealing to the audience’s emotions.

Heteronormativity in U.S. Schools

Have you ever wondered why homosexual people have to come out while heterosexual people do not? The word that explains this is heteronormativity, which is the set of cultural assumptions that heterosexuality is the norm in society. Heteronormativity is dominant in movies, TV shows, and many institutions, particularly schools in the United States.

Image result for heteronormativity

One of the main ways heteronormativity is reinforced in schools is through anti-gay curriculum laws, a broad category consisting of laws which restrict the discussion of homosexuality in schools, only teach abstinence, and do not teach adequate sex education for LGBTQ+ youth. The Columbia Law Review says 25 million children are exposed to these laws across the country.

Because of the lack of comprehensive sex education for LGBTQ+ youth, a report done by Planned Parenthood among other organizations writes that LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to engage in dangerous sexual behaviors that can put them at a much greater risk than heterosexual people their age.

Another way heteronormativity is perpetuated in schools is through the lack of LGBTQ+ history that is taught in classrooms. The U.S. News and World Report, there are currently only four states which require LGBT history to be taught in public schools. When LGBTQ+ students do not see themselves being represented in school, they are alienated and can often end up feeling much less validated with their identity and/or sexuality.

Not only are LGBTQ+ people at a disadvantage as children in public schools, but the inequality continues throughout college and adult life. The U.S. Department of Education found that in 2016, 75 colleges and universities requested to be able to discriminate based on either sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Meanwhile, many universities are making efforts to be inclusive and welcoming to LGBTQ+ people in particular from admissions to lesson content. This is so important because there is an extra level of stress added to the college process for LGBTQ+ students. Extra resources should be made available to these students, such a mental health resources, gender neutral bathrooms, and presence of LGBTQ+ clubs and groups on campuses.

As well as providing additional resources, it’s important for LGBTQ+ topics to be introduced to college students in regular classes in addition to specialized courses. Discrimination often stems from ignorance and exposure in college can play a huge role in combatting this issue.

In the United States, individual factors such as teachers, school curriculums, laws, and social norms, often combine to make LGBTQ+ people isolated from society as a whole. Through each seemingly minor discriminatory act to flat-out discrimination, the system of inequality is furthered and is then continued throughout an LGBTQ+ person’s life.

P2 Final

For my paper I am going to discuss how heteronormativity is enforced in schools through the lack of representation in school curriculums, in both regular academic classes and sex education classes. The lack of representation of the LGBTQ+ community in classes leaves out entire groups of people and favors those who identify with the “standard” identities such as cisgender and heterosexuality.

P2 Research Proposal Ideas

Most of the ideas I have relate to mental health and illness within certain groups of people. Some of the topics I’m interested in exploring are:

  • mental health/illness in prisoners
  • mental health in teenagers
  • how the media/film portrays mental illness
  • how social media influences mental health

Mental health is a topic that is really important to me because I struggle with anxiety myself. Mental illness is something that affects so many people and families and I think it’s so important to study to figure out how it should be dealt with. I want to research one of these specific groups so I can have a more focused argument rather than being too broad.

The Portrayal of Trans-humanism in Television

When I read about trans-humanism, the movement to use technology to enhance human abilities, the first thing I thought of was the show The Twilight Zone and the more modern version in my eyes, Black Mirror. I love watching these shows and to a certain extent I think the ideas within it are somewhat practical and could even be useful. However, if taken too far, trans-humanism could endanger our society and cause mass chaos.

Image result for black mirror transhumanism

The picture above shows an example of an invention that could be considered trans-humanism within Black Mirror. In this episode, people’s memories are recorded through a device they get implanted called “The Grain” and can be rewatched, even on a TV. An idea like this sounds somewhat realistic for the future with the increasing amount of technology and AI being created. Something like this could be useful but would have its drawbacks, including the health danger of implanting a device and the mental effect it could have on people. The character in the show ends up dangerously cutting the device out from under his skin. Chances are, if something like “The Grain” was actually created, people would likely end up acting similarly and risking danger just for the sake of their sanity.

While trans-humanism could be useful, if it went too far there is a risk of people becoming less human and our species essentially turning into robots. The increased use of artificial intelligence and technology are inevitable but there is a certain, unclear point where it becomes too much. It is an extremely complicated topic and trans-humanism would need to be heavily tested and experimented with before being put out to the public.

Review on the Ethics and Aesthetics of Photojournalism

In her essay, Marina Smolens considers the ethics of photojournalism by analyzing and comparing photojournalism to photographic art and contrasts the elements of editing used in both types. She attempts to answer the question, “When do these images become exploitive, and is there really a difference between photojournalism and art?” She generally does a good job of providing evidence and backing up her arguments although there are times when her position on the question seems slightly unclear.

She analyzes photographs from Sebastiao Salgado and Paolo Pellegrin to support her argument, who both use editing and the addition of artistic elements to their photos to leave a deeper impact on the viewers. Smolens’ also quotes reputable sources on photography, specifically photojournalism, such as the National Press Photographers Association and their Code of Ethics, author of “Photojournalism” David Finkelstein, The New York Times, and more. She bases most of her evidence off of the Code of Ethics. Her strong use of examples makes her essay a success.

The Ethics of Photojournalism

Thesis: “While photojournalism may be exploitive, this exploitation is not always unethical and sometimes even necessary in creating an image that is both beautiful and impactful. This allows for photographs to reveal truths about human activity and humanity as a whole, as well as encourage compassion and reflection within viewers.”
The thesis appears at the end of the introduction paragraph, summing up her entire argument before she goes more in depth in the body paragraphs.

Target audience: The target audience is the general public, but more specifically people who view these photos.

Logos: The author uses logic/ reasoning to point out that the benefits of photojournalism and why it is important while also giving validity to counterpoints. She refers to photographs from Sebastiao Salgado and Paolo Pellegrin to support her argument, who both use editing/ the addition of artistic elements to their photos to leave a deeper impact on the viewers.

Ethos: Smolens’ quotes reputable sources on photography, specifically photojournalism, such as the NPPA and their Code of Ethics, author of “Photojournalism” David Finkelstein, The New York Times, and more.

Pathos/Kairos: Arguably Smolens’ most prominent method of argumentation, she oftens appeals to the audience’s emotions by referring to the emotional impact of photos and how viewers feel when they experience these photos, whether it be horrified or in awe.

Moral/rational argument: Her argument is focused on the morality/ethicalness of photojournalism.

When My Thoughts Became My Worst Enemy

It was an April morning in 2016 when I had my first panic attack. It felt like any other day as I was walking to the subway when I was hit with an uncontrollable wave of panic for seemingly no reason. My heart started pounding, my legs became weak, and I felt out of touch with reality. I stayed home from school that day, hoping it would go away and that it was just a one-time thing. However, these feelings stayed consistent during the entire day, then the next few weeks, then several months, and are still with me today.

It was at my first therapy session soon after where I finally figured out what was causing these feelings — an anxiety disorder. After I became fully comfortable with therapy, I decided to open up to my friends about what I had been dealing with. I sat my closest friends down on the couches in the lounge at school and explained what they had all been wondering — what had been going on with me for the past few months. I was so relieved when I found out that I wasn’t alone — many of them had anxiety disorders too and some still did do today.

Coming to college has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve had to face in terms of dealing with my anxiety. It’s a scary transition for most people, but I feel like I have particularly been put at a disadvantage because of my anxiety disorder and the ability it has had in the past to hold me back from doing things I would normally love. College is supposed to be all about putting yourself “out there” and pushing outside of your comfort zone but sometimes it’s the last thing I want to do because all I can focus is my anxiety.

My anxiety changed me as a person in good and bad ways. At first, I tried to run away from how I was feeling because I couldn’t understand it and didn’t think anyone else would. I’ve realized that what dealing with anxiety has made me more self-aware, and also more aware of how other people are feeling and what they might be going through. I want to become the person that my friends or family can come to with anything because I knew what it felt like to have no one to go to with your problems. I have learned more about myself through dealing with anxiety than I have through any other experience, and whether I like it or not, anxiety is a part of my identity and affects me every day of my life.

About Me

Hi! My name is Hally La Fronz and I’m from New York City. I have a twin brother but he repeated a year of high school so it actually feels like I’m older than him. English has always been my favorite subject; I’m not a math or science person. Some of my favorite things to do are spending time with friends, exploring the city, and going on adventures as often as I can. I love animals and have a dog of my own named Bailey. I’m excited for this year and to get to know everyone!