Artifact Portfolio Essay

     Although it is quite embarrassing to admit it, I am definitely one who loves reading all the latest magazines, latest news and updates, and looking at pictures.  I probably have 3 different subscriptions to magazines.  Since this artifact portfolio is titled “My Gender Portfolio,” I have found that the most interesting way to present my portfolio was to include artifacts that commonly appear in my daily life.  I love magazines; I wrote about my favorite show; and I wrote about the people closest to me.  There is an almost journal-like feel to my portfolio, as many artifacts were documented when I either saw them, read them, or it actually happened to me. 

     One thing I find to be an extremely big issue in our society is the control media has over this society.  A control that makes us feel guilty about our looks, our material belongings (or lack thereof), and so on.  Many of my artifacts highlight this effect that is continuously present in the media.  We live in a country that is so concerned with all the physical aspects and I truly hope that changes one day.  Therefore, I attempted to also feature advertisements, articles, and so on that I saw that gave a fresh, positive outlook on image.  Our book “The Gender Communication Connection” by Gamble and Gamble (2003) provides us with many concepts and information to show us the advancements media is making in its coverage of reality.

            Another way in which this was an almost journal-like recording of my interests, was the types of media I chose in the film and television genres.  Not for all entries, but for many, I chose my favorite films and shows.  Although these are my favorite, I used this outlet as an opportunity to discuss various themes I have seen present on them such as conflict, gendered communication, gender stereotypes, and more.

            I also attempted to write about the books I appreciate greatly or that strongly relate to my life.  The Bible has been a huge aspect of my life.  My religion, like I discuss in my artifact analysis paper, has shaped my life, the way I act, my morals, and more.  Another book I chose was “Tiffany’s Table Manners;” I find manners to be one of the most important and appealing characteristics in others. 

            While proofreading and making the final edits to “My Gender Portfolio,” I have found that this portfolio represents many interests of mine.  Although the exact discussions and examples within my posts may not represent me, I have a general compilation of my interests.  Between the artifacts I chose and the subjects I chose, there is a general idea of the control the media currently has over the ideals and beliefs of our society.  There are many theories present in my portfolio to either represent the changes or represent how the theories are carried out.

Leave a comment »

“Bride Wars”

     I have not actually seen this entire movie, but anyone who has seen the preview for “Bride Wars” can pretty much figure out what it is about.  It is a pair of two female best friends who are extremely close.  They seem to do almost anything together, even planning their wedding on the same day.  What ends up happening is the place they booked can only hold for one of their weddings.  So, they end up hating each other and attempt to ruin the other’s wedding day and wedding plans in order to get the one spot.

     Very similar to a later artifact about a teenage TV show, although these girls seem to have a very tight relationship beforehand something happens to completely turn them against each other.  These two girls are contradicting what Gamble and Gamble have set as guidelines for a female-female friendship (p. 157).  Initially, the girls seem to be very connected; they are close enough to want their weddings on the same day.  But the talking that occurs between them is talk in a competitive nature and a harmful nature.  There is definitely no trust between the two friends as the whole movie they are attempting to ruin the other’s wedding.  I believe they did experinece a lot of face-to-face interaction, but I believe the majority of it was negative interaction.  This female-female relationship was a negative one that did not really follow Chapter 6’s guidelines (p. 157).

Bride wars.  (n.d.).  Retrieved May 6, 2009, from

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W.  (2003).  The gender communication connection.  Boston, NY: Houghton Mifflin.

Leave a comment »

“A Walk to Remember”

     “A Walk to Remember” gives a different view on love.  We see a couple come together and fall in love not for looks and what we usually see in movies, but because they really love each other.  The main female character is not concerned with her looks, her clothes or what others think.  The film shows a different type of leading lady; one that is not all dolled up with make-up and fancy clothes. 

     We learn in chapter 13, that media is really changing and growing in the roles it is now offering women (pp. 356-357).  We see new roles for women that break traditional barriers and stereotypes.  Although many roles are changing, Gamble and Gamble inform readers that these female leading ladies are still generally attractive.  “A Walk to Remember” is successful in showing a new type of leading female; one who stands by her morals and values no matter what others think.  She is not willing to change herself for a male.  The movie kind of goes against the attractive rule, as Mandy Moore’s looks are very played down, but we all know Mandy Moore is an attractive female.

A walk to remember.  (n.d.).  Retrieved May 6, 2009, from

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W.  (2003).  The gender communication connection.  Boston, NY: Houghton Mifflin.

Leave a comment »

Curvy Models in Underwear!!!

     Recently I have seen multiple advertisements for a line of underwear specifically designed for curvy and full-figured women.  This is a big step up from the usually size 0 models I am always use to seeing.  These advertisements have comments on the side like the photographers were jealous or the model is only wearing mascara to boost the normal person aspect of the advertisement.  Although this is great that the media is indeed showing different types of women, these women with the curvy figures are still gorgeous.  So although the media is making some great advancements, they are yet to completely represent all types of people.

     The good thing about these new types of advertisements is that they may help females with their body image and may help lower the cases of bulimia and anorexia (p. 305).  Chapter 11 discusses that “Physical appearance is frequently an obsession for people in the United States… The compulsion we feel to look just right can cause us to suffer low self-esteem” (p. 305).  There is definitely a strong desire in our world to look like what we see in the magazines and on TV; having fresh advertisements like these may really help people develop healthier relationships with themselves.   

Curvation advertisement.  (n.d.).  Retrieved May 6, 2009, from

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W.  (2003).  The gender communication connection.  Boston, NY: Houghton Mifflin.

Leave a comment »

Gisele is Everywhere

     In the past year I have seen so many advertisements featuring Gisele Bundchen.  Whether it be for a purse, jewelery, clothes, perfume, and so on, I am pretty sure you can find at least one advertisement in each category with her face on it.  Gisele is an attractive supermodel and represents an image the media is always attempting to portray in females of beauty, thinness, tanness and so on.  The media puts an attractive woman like Gisele on advertisements with the latest fashions and causes the idea in peoples’ heads that they can look like that if they buy the products she is modeling.

     According to Chapter 13 of the book, advertisements utilize women in stereotypical ways.  “Women wear sleepwear, underwear, or lingerie more than they wear work attire” (p. 353).  Although Gisele is not only seen in underwear or lingerie, we see in this information that indeed the media knows how to utilize their resources in order to sell the most products possible.  Advertisers know that Gisele is an attractive and looked up to supermodel , therefore they put her face on various products to raise their popularity with consumers.

Gisele bundchen new ads for max factor.  (n.d.).  Retrieved May 6, 2009, from

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W.  (2003).  The gender communication connection.  Boston, NY: Houghton Mifflin.

Leave a comment »

“What Happens in Vegas”

     In the film “What Happens in Vegas” we see the two main characters, Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz, get extremely drunk and married in Las Vegas.  One of them ends up winning on a slot machine, so they began a competitive relationship in order to stay together to equally split the money.  Throughout the movie we see the male character as a slacker and noncommitted to his work, while the main female is extremely work oriented and driven.

     This film completely goes against traditional stereotypes of a male-female married working couple and in many ways contradicts the role stereotypes we learn about in chapter 10 of our book (p. 273).  According to our book, the male is supposed to serve as the “tough man… fighting man… wage earner” (p. 273).  We see in this film that Kutcher really holds none of these positions, but instead Diaz does.  She is willing to constantly put up a fight against him and is always willing to reciprocate anything he does to her.  She is also the partner in the couple working, while he stays at home on the couch.  According to chapter 10, the female should be the “child… mother… sex-object… man-like” (p. 273).  Although we do see Diaz holding some of these roles, Kutcher is definitely the immature child in the relationship and is often the sex-object of the film.  We see him constantly tempted by girls and intimacy; although that may not be the way the book entirely means it, we do see Kutcher wanting to be often used as a “sex-object” (p. 273).

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W.  (2003).  The gender communication connection.  Boston, NY: Houghton Mifflin.

What happens in vegas.  (n.d.).  Retrieved May 6, 2009, from

Leave a comment »

Young Republican Elections

     This year I have become involved in our school’s Young Republicans.  I have really enjoyed being involved and because of the club, I have been able to participate in many great opportunities.   Due to my good experience, I decided to run for office and to run for the Vice President position.  It was a little more of a casual election process, we each took about a minute to say why we were the best for the job.  I ran against two other males.  Although I do not know how the candidate would have done in the actual position, I do feel as though I offered the most legitimate reasons to vote for me. The candidate who one did have more experience within the organization than I did and will probably do a great job.  My point is that it makes me wonder if they picked him because he had more experience (even though I offered many examples of my experience) or did it have a lot to do with the fact that he was male?

     The election results may have possibly been effected by the voters’ gendered communication (p. 8).  My sex may have effected their perception of my ability in the Vice President role.  Due to their gendered communication they may have, before I even stood up to talk, assigned characterisctics to my ability to serve as Vice President.  They may have before I even opened my both decided who they were going to vote for solely by my sex.  One of the other female members was so upset about the majority of male e-board members, that she spoke up on my behalf saying that there really needed to be a female officer.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W.  (2003).  The gender communication connection.  Boston, NY: Houghton Mifflin.

Leave a comment »

My mother

     My mother is my best friend.  I look up to her so much and I respect her very much.  Moreso than any of my friends, I can trust my mother.  We hang out, we go shopping together, we watch movies together, we play cards together, and so on.  Besides my religious values, most of what I do, I do in hopes of making my parents proud of me, especially my mother.  Not only do my mother and I resemble each other, but I know a lot of what I do is because I have seen or heard her do it.  My mannerism and my habits are similar to hers.  The majority of my behaviorisms have been modeled after my mother.   

     My relationship with my mother is an example of the symbolic interaction theory created by George Herbert Mead (p. 40).  This theory would supports the notion that others can play a huge part of who we are.  These people may also shape what we believe is acceptable and expected of us.  This theory would explain why I act the way I do and why I feel the way I do towards my mother.  My mother has constantly held a respected and prominent role in my life which has shaped the way I act, the way I perceive my self, and the way I perceive and have shaped what is expected of me.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W.  (2003).  The gender communication connection.  Boston, NY: Houghton Mifflin.

Leave a comment »

Too Much Cleavage?

     My favorite show is Ghost Whisperer.  I try to watch every single episode and my mother surprised me this semester by buying me one of the season dvds.  I am a huge fan of Jennifer Love Hewitts (at least for this show!), but I have to wonder about the clothing choices sometimes.  The majority of the clothes that Hewitt wears shows off her chest.  It does not matter what she is doing, her chest is showing.  Whether she is at a funeral home, a graveyard, wherever- her clothes are low cut.  This is so noticeable because I do not believe her clothes are completely realistic or practical to her life.  I feel she believes that this is what she is well known for so she has to show it off to be popular.

     Jennifer Love Hewitt may be experiencing language socialization (p. 63).  By constantly relying on her appearance and her female attritubutes, she has constructed a language in which her success is relient on her looks.  In her past reputation and Hollywood career she has been marked for, and one of her signature attributes has become, her figure.  Therefore, according to the language others have shaped for her, she has fallen in to the guidlines of language socialization.

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W.  (2003).  The gender communication connection.  Boston, NY: Houghton Mifflin.

Ghost whisperer.  (n.d.).  Retrieved April 29, 2009, from

Leave a comment »

How To Get Jury Sympathy

     One of my old favorite movies was “Chicago.”  This movie is about sex, dancing, and murder.  In the beginning of the movie one of the main characters murders her boyfriend (she is married).  Once she receives her lawyer, her lawyer decides to completely alter her appearance.  He turns into a sweet, inncent looking girl wearing ruffles.  He even instructs her to knit in the court room.  This scene backs up the fact that we as a society really can be controlled and have altered feelings by what images we see.  Images are a big way of our learning and of the way people feel today.  We believe what the media tells us and what we see in the media.

     In this part of the movie, the main character is using a type of nonverbal communication called kinesics (p. 88).  By using the nonverbal communication she did, she was expressing  a certain identity.  Without even saying anything, she comes in the court room in frills and ruffles, blonde hair and is knitting.  She and her lawyer have created an identity of innonence solely through nonverbal visual communication of her body language.  She sits a certain way while on the stand, will begin to cry if upset, and has a set of innocent eyes the entire time.  Although her clothing cannot be seen as kinesics, the way she acts in the court room can.  If she had acted the way we see her act in earlier parts of the movie, a rough and scandolous attitude, the jury would have probably convicted her.  But with her facial expressions, body posture, and the way she carried herself the entire time in the court room got the jury to see her as innocent.

Chicago.  (n.d.).  Retrieved May 6, 2009, from

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W.  (2003).  The gender communication connection.  Boston, NY: Houghton Mifflin.

Leave a comment »