We often talk about the importance of media literacy and paying attention to the messages we're fed daily. It's tough enough combating unabashedly offensive, in-your-face advertising, but what happens when the news we get is misrepresented and tainted with underlying 'isms'?

WHAT DOES THE HEADLINE/IMAGE (BELOW) SAY TO YOU? WHAT DO YOU THINK IT MEANS? WHAT DOES IT IMPLY?


[Source: HuffingtonPost.com 1.26.11]

Here's why we're asking...

We probably had similar reactions... This looks like it's probably going to be a story tying kids' food choices and ability to abstain from indulging in 'bad foods' to their potential as adults later in life. Right?

Wrong.

The actual story is about a study linking a child's self-control (unrelated to food) and conscientiousness to their potential for leading a more successful life free of prison, drugs and unplanned children. Well, thanks to HuffingtonPost.com, that got lost in translation.

In fact, not only did the actual point of the study get lost in a huge game of 'Media Telephone,' but now the story is being portrayed in a way that subliminally suggests (in both image and word) that depriving oneself of 'junk food' (in order to attain a specific size or status?) will lead to a better, wealthier life. Taken another step further, does this NOT also bring up issues of socioeconomic status? What foods are made affordable and available to whom...? What about issues of sexism (women expected to be 'good' and stereotypically beautiful/thin)? What about an underlying issue of race? If we don't ask these questions, how else will society begin to realize just how intricately sizism, sexism and racism are still woven into our culture?

Just because a news source has taken one statement, put it at the top of a page and published it in a size 20, bold face font, does not make it true -- nor does it make it right.

HuffPost #Fail? Uh, yeah.

To read the original article, go here.

 

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