Don’t take anything at face value.
TV and movies often shape the way we relate to the world around us. It would be a big mistake if we never took the time to question the different stories and human representations we see on our screens.
So when TikTok user @sheherzog asked people to share the media tropes they’ve noticed and “can’t unsee,” I was curious to see what others had picked up on.
@sheherzog pointed out that most high school coming-of-age movies and TV shows depict the main characters reaching milestones people typically don’t hit until they’re college-aged or older. Shows like Degrassi and Riverdale, for example.
@an.isa721 showed how the media often sexualizes the act of a woman taking off her hijab, and further perpetuates the stereotype that women who wear them are oppressed. Some of the shows that have done this include Elite, Ramy, and Grey’s Anatomy.
@ginger_menace gave various examples of how red-headed characters are hyper-sexualized in shows. Including — but not limited to — Jessica Rabbit, Kim Possible, and Ariel.
@lauren.smyth drew attention to the fact that many TV shows (particularly those on Disney Channel) have a thin girl as the main character and a plus-size best friend who’s only there to provide comedic relief. For example, Ivy’s character on Good Luck Charlie.
@luckyleftie brought up how female cartoon animals have hyper-feminine characteristics and always look “sexier” than their male counterparts.
@dontbreakthat noticed something I had never thought of before, which is that animated mystical fat characters are often given wings that are extremely tiny in proportion to their bodies. This reduces them to serving the sole purpose of being the “fat character.”
@zoediackiller used Bridgerton to show how only light-skinned Black women are portrayed as “worthy of love.” The one dark-skinned woman in the show had no romantic history or prospects.
@im_that_magee pointed out how movies and shows often put a bunch of people with different stereotypes together for the drama of their interactions — like the Disney show Jessie.
@jv_rey gave examples of how both Asian women and gay men are typically coupled up with white men in media.
@khlilgmble wanted to know why every single white Marvel character had a token black best friend.
@jessiepaege noticed how women who are stereotypically feminine, like Sharpay in High School Musical, are typically portrayed as mean. They’re pitted against a less “girly” counterpart, like Gabriella, who always wins whatever they’re competing for.
@karlkarlbobarl brought up how most women in TV have the same exact hairstyle: straight on top and wavy on the bottom.
Have you noticed a media trope that’s really bothersome? Tell us in the comments for a chance to be featured in a BuzzFeed post!
TV and Movies
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