Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sugarcoated view of young girls and transgender issues

I recently read a CNN news article about a 14-year old transgender girl named Jazz Jennings being part of Clean and Clear's #SeetheRealMe ad campaign. The article was really positive, focused more on Jazz's story and actually quoted her quite a bit. The article mentioned that the media was comparing it to Ellen being in CoverGirl's ads. The article even mentioned a video of her talking about how she knew she was a girl trapped in a boy's body at a very young age. She even got her own show on TLC about the transformation she went through and how she got used to having sleepovers and being "one of the girls." 

I thought the news article did a good job with reporting this, but there are also some criticisms based on the video that was shown of Jazz. The story included a video of Jazz giving us the general background of her story and included her inviting over her girl friends, playing, putting on make-up and being the normal middle school girl that she always wanted to be. 

This presents sort of a sugarcoated view of transgender individuals because not everyone's story is like that. Yes she is young, the message was extremely positive, but it left out parts that could really inform the audience about the not so happy transgender stories. Jazz is a very pretty young girl who apparently from the video has very pretty friends. After her transition, she is seen living happily being who she truly is. The video glosses over the fact that not all middle school girls are your typical pretty girl with a bunch of friends or that after a transition people, such as friends and family will automatically accept it. 

I think the video should have been a little more authentic with the way it was made. People will probably be more accepting because she is a young girl, but I think the video shouldn't suggest to our community that being transgender is always a happy experience because many trans people are still suffering from violence and discrimination. This story is everywhere and these issues require media and especially mass media to be as authentic as possible because people will be misled by not understanding what living transgender really feels like.

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