Moral and Cultural Messages Present in the Media: Analytical Essay

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Mass media is the fasted growing resource of the twenty-first century. It is reported that the average American spends eleven hours per day consuming the media. The rapid rise of mass media consumption may seem harmless or as a necessary action by some people due to societal changes, however, mass media consumption could be seen as a negative due to the subliminal cultural and moral messages hidden or displayed openly by producers of the content that the viewer consuming the media may not be aware of it. Good and bad influences are everywhere in the world, and some can be avoided directly, for example, not hanging out with the friend that you always get in trouble, with in comparison to mass media, the content people watch can affect them indirectly and influence them depending on the media they consume.

Music has the ability to change one's mood, express or relate to the producer's feelings, or help time pass, so of course it's no surprise that millions of people in different parts of the world listen to music consistently on a daily basis, including me. Music produced today is often met with criticism due to the messages that are promoted to the targeted audience that mostly includes young people. As a vivid music listener, I can testify to this there is a ton of moral messages present in the music I listen to. For example, in the song ‘FEFE’ by Sixnine and Nicki Minaj, Sixnine starts the song off by name dropping a gang that he's affiliated with, and then they rap about sexual immorality, which consisted of them talking about highly provocative stuff such as sex acts they perform, their genitals, and so on. Another example would be in the song ‘SAD!’ by XXXTentacion. In one line he says “suicide if you ever try to let go”, which is basically him saying he would kill himself if the person he was in love with tried to break up with him, which could be classified as mental abuse because no one should feel like they have to stay in a relationship with someone due to the fact that their partner will try to kill themselves if they don't.

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Not only are their moral messages present in media content, but there are also cultural messages that exist within the media as well. For example, in the documentary ‘Skin Bleaching Scandal in South Africa’ produced by Unreported World. The documentary talks about the recent skin bleaching crises in South Africa, where South Africans are using skin bleaching cream that contains harmful substances that can damage their skin permanently. Skin bleaching in South Africa become mainstream after a famous rapper Mshoza bleached her skin and started endorsing skin bleaching products. As a result, skin bleaching has become a cultural issue with many South Africans believing that becoming lighter will make them look better, be more successful, and that's a plus in the dating game. Another example is from the documentary ‘Honor Killings in Pakistan: The Kohistan Case’ by VICE Asia. This documentary talks about honor killings in Pakistan, where about a thousand women are killed every year in the name of honor when a male relative claims that a woman has brought dishonor on the family, and it shows the cultural messages that still exist within Pakistan.

The mass media I consume doesn't necessarily reflect the values growing up I was instilled with. Certainly, if my parents heard the music I listen to, they without a doubt would be flabbergasted due to the provocative and tasteless manner of the lyrics incorporated into the song. However, I don't necessarily see a conflict with my values and the media I consume. Mass media is something I listen to and watch purely just for my entertainment or knowledge, depending on what it is, for example, a documentary. Although there are negative messages in the media, I consume I am not by any means necessary influenced or persuaded by it. I would compare this to an incident where you're hanging out with friends who use drugs. Of course, you probably shouldn't be hanging out with them, but as long as you're not actually participating in drug use with them, then you're not influenced by them and you aren't technically doing anything wrong.

I never feel self-conscious, embarrassed, or guilty about the media content I consume. As I previously stated, the mass media I consume is strictly just for entertainment purposes, incept for certain instances. The media a person consumes doesn't make them a good or bad person, for example, a person could listen to music that promotes violence and yet be a peaceful person or vice versus. People need to learn to separate the media they consume from the actual person and how the person acts.

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Moral and Cultural Messages Present in the Media: Analytical Essay. (2023, September 19). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from
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