Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Archive for March, 2014


Posted by marshalldm on March 31, 2014

I found this article fascinating, actually. Never in my life have a given a thought to how soap was made into an industry. I think it is so interesting how the advertising industry can persuade people to buy soap instead of make their own soap. I think that is a reoccurring theme with many of the house hold or simple items that we buy. We could make plenty of the things that we purchase, but we chose to pay more money for it because it’s more convenient or more socially acceptable. I often think that is the key to marketing, to make something abnormal not to have it.
Anyway, I think about soap and it’s role in society today. It isn’t just about having soap, it’s about the brand of soap and the smell that the soap gives off. I literally only buy Dove soap. Why? I don’t know. I guess all of the Dove commercials have paid off. We can’t even have simple Germ-X. Most of us get Germ-X that has a good smell to it.


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Yeah, soap

Posted by Sarah Alford on March 31, 2014

I’m not exactly sure where to begin on this article. I get it, let’s make these huge corporations that sell products that many consider necessary. I thought it was rather interesting that the stock market crash ruined their deals, which would have made them tons of money otherwise, so heh.

Basically, though it may not have seemed like it, I’m presuming the guy wanted to talk about all of the products and wonderful things the Colgate company does. But he said in his speech that it’s to overcome the housewife resistance. They want to make money, so they make more and more products, and then try to convince women they need them, which doesn’t seem too different from lots of businesses today. We’re constantly being bombarded with ads to reduce wrinkles and get the best smoky eye ever and the sexiest pout (whatever that means). I think this is really true of all advertising though: they’re trying to sell us things we don’t really need. I don’t need Taco Bell breakfast and an $18 razor, and my dad doesn’t need under-eye cream or to cover up his weird white eyebrow hair.

But I think that it’s true that they seem to target women maybe more, especially for beauty products [we all want to feel beautiful]. That one ad promised to “keep that schoolgirl complexion.” I’m sure they meant youthful glow and lack of wrinkles. And I think many women buy into all of these products. Unfortunately, I know I do. I can’t leave Ulta without looking at pretty much every beauty product and each time pondering, “Does my hair really need to be that voluminous?” or “Will this rosy eye palette match my skin tone?” [don’t even really know what that means] or “Which eyeliner is least likely to make me look like Janice Ian?” Granted, I’m too lazy to wear makeup most of the time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t find ads and commercials enticing. I just think advertisers place a disproportionate amount of ads on appearance products. But I think this kind of tied in with what we talked about earlier in the semester about how ads target certain demographics. [it’s all coming together now, but Andy Samberg and Brooklyn Nine-Nine is calling my name]

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Posted by brittanyjade22 on March 31, 2014

So the article we were assigned to read for today was about soap. It was a little bit interesting to find out about the way the soap industry started. Like how it was kind of hard to first convince women to start buying fragrance soaps from the store instead of just making their own soap at home. Honestly after seeing that we are having a guess speaker in class tomorrow from the women and gender studies program all I could really focus on during the article was the pictures of the old ads. It’s really interesting to look at how the ads are completely made to appeal to women because at the time that was the member of the household who was responsible for buying that type of product. Overall I found this article to be one of the less interesting reading assignments we’ve had so far but I’m interested to see how’s it’s brought up during are class tomorrow.

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Posted by anyashah936 on March 31, 2014

It is interesting to me how the entire article was based on soap and soap companies. How they came to be, how they have changed or have not changed to this day and so forth. I never really though someone could write an entire piece on soap. I was obviously mistaken! I also liked that the article incorporated picture of the adds from the time periods that it was talking about so as to pain a picture and add more detail to what we were reading so that we could understand everything much clearer and better.

When i started reading this article i first thought, How does one go from farming to making candles and soaps? I still do not really understand why he did this but i guess that is going to be a mystery for our minds to solve ourselves. I did find it interesting that the soap business was traded down from generation to generation. Also that is was a family business in general. I love family businesses i feel like they are more caring and homey and it makes me feel better and more comfortable about the product of the place that i am at.

They talked about how soap was made from fat. This made me think of one time when i went to a amusement park in Kansas City Missouri. I made my own homemade soap there and they lady did not mention to us what we happened to be making it out of. Later i came to find that i had made my soap out of lard. Then come the idea about having different smells in soaps. Which if i do say so myself was a VERY good idea because the soap i made did not smell good at all! I also thing the add on page sixty six was funny especially because they said they still use it today sometimes because i have never seem it and it just sounds odd to me. “Nature’s simple rule to keep that schoolgirl complexion” Don’t people in high school have worse complexions…

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Posted by kateblandford2192 on March 27, 2014

I never grew up around wrestling, but a lot of what I did know about wrestling is through different shows making fun of it. I also had a big culture shock when I tried to go to Buffalo Wild Wings here and it was full to capacity due to a wrestling match. I think the culture of Wrestling is a very southern oriented one and my mom calls it the redneck’s Broadway. The high production value and stage names and crazy acts and back-stories are not unlike a lot of Broadway shows and the culture that surrounds it isn’t that unlike the Broadway snob culture. If you went to Little Rock Arkansas and asked a 14 year old boy what the back story behind a wrestler is, you would get an explanation as in depth, well thought out and dissected as if you went to rich upper Manhattan and asked a 40 year old what the backstory was for a character from Les Miserables. 


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Posted by 1lajarvis on March 27, 2014

Being that I grew watching wrestling (WWF/WWE), I’m very familiar with the sport itself. I stopped watching wrestling around the time I started my 7th grade year of middle school. My cousin and I both went to a wrestling and it really exposed us to a lot. We noticed the difference between watching wrestling on TV and watching it live.
Before I knew how fake it was, there were several wrestlers who I considered as heroes, and Mick Foley was one of them.
As I grew older I began to shed a different light on who I thought were heroes and why I valued them the way I did.

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What Defines a Hero?

Posted by benjaminnally211 on March 27, 2014

The idea of who is considered a hero is a little different for everyone.  I think it depends on a person’s upbringing because I was raised to understand that firefighters and police officers are heroes.  On the other hand, I can’t say much for wrestling because I haven’t been that exposed to it.  I think the concept of heroism is a bit muddled with what an idol is.  I don’t mean to cross any boundaries, but what the public servants (the firefighter and cop) are doing has more nobility than what the professional wrestler does.

The same idea goes for gender roles in who is determined a hero in their society.  Women and men both perform heroic acts everyday in a role that may be outside of where society would usually compartmentalize them.  What they do to be heroic may seem taboo to an outsider because it is unusual, but an act of heroism is heroic.  It’s as straightforward as that.  

There is no doubt that pop culture manipulates what is heroic and what is average, but everyone has the opportunity to be a hero.  Being a hero isn’t necessarily saving a baby from a burning building or a cat from a tree, it is realizing that you have the opportunity to do the right thing and then seizing that opportunity.  

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Mick Foley Article

Posted by joshdaniel9 on March 27, 2014

When I think of WWE and the world of wrestling for entertainment, I think of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Wrestling seemed to hit a point of popularity where everyone knew who the major players were, regardless of their dedication to the “sport”. Before this class, I never considered the relevance of Wrestling and its ability to represent ideals present in society. I found it very interesting to read about Mick Foley, and how he represented differing aspects of masculinity and traits of the American Hero. 

It always surprises me how popular wrestling still is today. Every time a match occurs, WWE becomes a national trending topic on twitter, and I realize that it’s still immensely popular and entertaining to many. I only ever watch it when I’m at my brothers house and its a particularly big event. But I end up getting wrapped up in the drama and I understand what people love about it. 

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Posted by Sarah Alford on March 27, 2014

Okay, so sorry this is late, but Time Warner is full of morons and the internet likes to go out at my house

Anyway, as you’d expect, I’m not a big fan of wrestling. I think I remember my dad watching it when I was younger, but I never paid any attention to it, and I don’t think he ever really got super into either, just watched it because nothing else was on or because my uncles watched it and liked to talk about it. Again, there’s nothing wrong with it, I just never liked it. But I think the description of Mike Foley was hilarious, especially since that is exactly what most people do not expect to win wrestling matches. 

One thing I thought was interesting was that wrestling matches can have multiple readings to different fans. Sure, they may agree on factual dates of things occurring, but they may interpret his winnings in terms of other matches and the way his career is going. Also, I think it’s interesting that, while Americans may be less into wrestling, international populations are all about it. And the article specifically mentioned that WWE was targeted to young males, and they can then sell ads to cater to that demographic, which is something I remember we talked about earlier in the semester.

Another thing I found interesting is the way that they kind of divide wrestlers up into groups as either an antagonist or the protagonist, which may change relative to the current match, and that some call themselves legends. Also, I think it’s funny that during Wrestlemania, matches can be considered historic or classic while they’re still in progress, which I find strange. Also, I thought it was hilarious when it talked about the old lady yelling “break his arm,” but I agree with what the old guy said, that we can’t act this way in real life, so maybe we use wrestling [or whatever else we like to watch] as a means to escape and maybe live vicariously through it. When I got to the Brains v. Brawn section, it made me feel bad for poor Foley, since he had to balance his masculinity with his intelligence (I had no idea he was such a prolific writer), and I know a lot of people struggle between that stereotype of the athlete and the intellectual. But then Foley kind of ruins that image by hitting people with chairs.

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Mick Foley and Wrestling

Posted by marshalldm on March 27, 2014

Not everyone understands wrestling, I am one of them. I have never understood the point of it, especially pro wrestling. I don’t think it’s my place to bash it, though. We all find interests and entertainment in different things. In this section, they discussed who Mick Foley was a “hero” because he won a WWE championship. People find it ridiculous that he’s seen as heroic. I don’t understand why people think that. WWE might be scripted and fake, but so are most of the movies and tv shows that we watch. Yet, we still always find a character heroic in them. Yes, he might have gotten his credit for being heroic for his attractiveness, but so do a lot of people. I know that I find people heroic, such as Blair Waldorf, for her style and attractiveness alone.

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