Archive for May, 2012

Last night, I was flicking through the channels and stopped on America’s Got Talent, which features the less than talented judges Howie Mandell, Howard Stern, and Sharon Osborne.  (What’s the demographic for this audience?)  After watching a strange dance trope and a juggler — really? — the show mercifully went to commercial.  And then, I saw it.  America’s Got Talent has enlisted the Statue of Liberty in its seventh season promotion.

What’s going on here?  What does this show have to do with the Statue of Liberty?  Is this a reference to New York or to some idea about America?  Sure, the semester is over, but the Icons remain on the move.

And by the way, check out this new book on the Statue of Liberty.


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For my project I wrote about Angela Davis, feminist, civil rights activist, prison rights activist, revolutionary, communist, scholar, professor, etc.

I was excited by the different representations I found of her online.


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I enjoyed writing about her in my paper and researching her. I was also surprised by how many people from my generation were unfamiliar with her.

Angela Davis at Occupy Oakland

I can’t wait to see what everyone else wrote about.

This semester I particularly enjoyed discussing Barbie, Muhammad Ali and McDonalds. I think that it would be interesting if you included Aunt Jemima to examine representations of black women (Mammy).

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Rosie the Riveter

So I thought I would post a few images from my paper on here, because the imagery is actually what’s interesting about this topic. I wrote about Rosie the Riveter, and I’m sure the first image that springs to mind is this:

But actually, this image is some unidentified women entirely. It had nothing to do with the Rosie the Riveter trend. This poster was completely obscure during WWII- it was hung up for literally 2 weeks in a small factory in Pittsburgh. That’s it! It wasn’t widely used, and it was only ever seen by the employees of that factory. Somehow, in the mid 1980s, it got rediscovered and touted as this significant piece of WWII propaganda. Researchers have never been able to track how it went from complete obscurity to mass popularity- that’s what makes it so interesting! In spite of its modern-day status as a symbol of feminism, it was made to motivate both female AND male employees.

The real Rosie is from a song and a Rockwell image that was on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post:

 She looks pretty different! Rosie was a character from a pop song, and when the song + Rockwell’s image got popular, the government capitalized on it and found “real-life Rosies” to hype women up.

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Aging Barbie

Check this out.  A friend just posted this on Facebook.

Barbie at 50(ish).  What do you think?  Is this how she would look?  Is she still iconic — old and all?  And how about Ken?

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