Example Of Autoethnography

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Autoethnographies offer a more personal intimate look at a media consumer than any other method of audience reception. Of course, critics of media can bring in personal tales and opinions, but as seen in writing this paper, an autoethnography goes much deeper than an opinion. It is a detailed look at one’s personal life, relationships, and intentions, and how they may have been shaped by specific media. It combines both personal opinion and narrative in ways that a traditional textual analysis can not. It is more personal and subjective, harder to argue than a typical audience critique/fandom would be. The method of autoethnography connects higher level ideas like structural white male hegemony and the myth of post-racism/post-feminism with…show more content…
I began watching reality dating shows like Flavor of Love, Rock of Love, and For the Love of Ray J at a very formative age, about 12 years old. I religiously watched the “finding love” reality shows on VH1 and MTV, watching in awe as dozens of beautiful women competed for a B-List celebrity’s love. It wasn’t until this assignment did I realize that these shows drastically shaped the way I see romance, courting, and relationships. Those shows taught me that love is a competition, other women are a threat. This phenomenon is aggravated by the fact that the more negative or degrading the representation of women, the more successful and profitable the show is. (Boylorn, 422) As a chubby, acne-ridden, glasses-wearing pre-teen, the scantily clad and seemingly flawless women on these shows were somewhat of a role model for me. Wow, look at their beautiful clothes and beautiful hair and perfect body. She is perfect, could get any male she wanted, yet here she is competing for love on a TV show. Even this woman who seems to have everything my 12-year-old self wanted couldn’t find a man. If the beautiful women on these shows couldn’t find a man to love them, how was someone like me supposed to have any chance? This is the exact toxic rhetoric discussed in My So-Called Felicity In the City. In this autoethnography, the author describes comparing herself to other girls (Stern, 419), criticizing her glasses and braces and acting as though those are a reasonable explanation as to why it’s a suprise a boy liked her. That was my entire adolescence, comparing myself not just to the girls my age around me, but also to the women I saw on reality television. This is significant, as the author explains, because adolescents identify with television themes that resonate with their lives experiences and can provide “a cultural and interpretive framework” (421). In relation to the reality dating shows I insisted on watching, the
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