Free Essay

Wake Up, Media!

In: English and Literature

Submitted By shoujikuang
Words 1438
Pages 6
Yanli Jin
09/13/2012
Assignment #1
Wake up, Media! If you asked my six-year-old cousin about her idea on marriage, she would tell you that the guy she is going to marry should have a nice car and be able to buy her every single Barbie she wants. We’d like to make fun with her adult-like behaviors and of course are not very serious about what she is really saying. However, children don’t tell lies. What she has said reflects a devaluation of marriage in Chinese society. Marriage should be a pure love match; however, it has somehow become an artifice of gaining wealth. Through the tabloid culture, such as the Chinese reality televisions dating show “If You’re the One”, our moral judgment has been imperceptibly influenced because of media’s lack of social responsibilities. Does wealth really place a better role in a relationship than happiness? The answer is definitely negative. We have a long history of arguing what marriage really means to human beings. “In most culture of the past, marriage wasn’t about the happiness of two individuals – it was a political and economic arrangement between two families. Marriage was a way of consolidating wealth, merging resources, forgoing political alliances, and even concluding peace treaties” (Cherlin, Andrew). As time pass by, the rise of individualism changes our view of marriage. We expect the fairness and pleasure in our marriages. It is a huge advancement in human right progress. In China, however, people still consider the economic status as an important part of choosing their partners. The traditional idea of marriage tends to hold people back. Media, as the major influential power in the modern society, should lead people to the right track, but they sacrifice principle for profit. A popular Chinese dating TV show called “ If You’re the One”, has become controversial recently. This program actually imitates the UK dating show, “Take Me Out”, but has been a big success in China. It breaks the traditional one-on-one blind dating form; instead, it is a twenty-four female candidates versus one male bachelor setting. This man guest has to show his personalities and virtues to strive for his right of choosing the girl he likes. It supposes to be a stage to help singles find their true lovers; however, things change because of the profits behind the show. People speak in a swanky, witty, and straightforward ways in order to catch audiences’ attention. One example can be the overnight celebrity, Ma Nuo, who used to be one of the twenty-four girls in “If You’re the One”. She rejected a young man’s offer of taking her out and riding bicycle together (it is considered as a romantic way of asking a girl out in an old Chinese tradition, because China used to be the kingdom of bicycle) by saying that “I’d rather cry in a BMW car than laugh on the backseat of a bicycle”. This quote immediately spread over the Internet and led to a hot discussion in the society. Why Ma Nuo, as a girl, dares to say such scandalous remarks in front of millions of audiences? Here are two possible explanations: one is that she tries to stand out and gain fame by acting outrageously; the other one is that she is born to be forthright and behaving without thinking. Both of these two explanations show possible damages on our perspectives of marriage. Their mere pursuit of incentives will destroy people, especially teenagers’ belief of marriage by thinking the worship of money has become the mainstream in our life. Larry Kuok is a past “If You’re the One” contestant. He wrote an article about his experience of attending this program. He insinuated that the producer of the show had required him to choose a girl he didn’t like. At first, he was sort shocked by this decision, but he did what he was told at the end, because he was worried about being rejected by all of the girls and being shamed in front of millions of audiences. As we can see, media is fenced in the trap of being profitable. “Blind date” is not the end; the core is to get profit and fame by saying extraordinary words on the stage. Driven by benefits, the platform of blind date becomes a “show” stage. Some of the girls and male guests are chosen to satisfy viewers’ taste and to entertain people. Their goals are becoming mini celebrities rather than finding a lifelong partner. The editors also tend to cut out the ordinary but real parts and emphasize on the surprising situations, no matter they are positive or negative. They just focus on how to catch spectators’ attention, but forget their duties of controlling the flows of wrong ideas. The show, in some extent, illustrate a phenomenon of the rise of material girl in the society, which causes people to worry about having to cope with these girls in the future and their expectation of marriage can be disappointed. Also, the latent wrong message of “being rich is all you need to do” may cause young people to accumulate the immoral values. Even though we advocate marriage based on spiritual love and disapprove the worship of money nowadays, material girls appear one after another. For one reason, women lack education. In China, there are still a lots of families can not afford the high education fees and the teenagers have to drop out of schools when their abilities of moral judgments are not mature enough. Through tabloid culture, they see stories like how a third-class actor gains wealth and fame by hooking up with a rich man. Their ethical concepts are easily affected. Nonetheless, media has created a culture of money, which makes people to give undue importance to wealth when comparing happiness. A percentage of people start to believe that money can buy everything including happiness. They also believe that finding a wealthy partner can solve their finical problem and can pave the way to easy life after. Therefore, some girls choose to aim for a wealthy boyfriend rather than working hard to support their lives. The most ridiculous thing is that there is actually demand for material girls in the society. Some playboys like to date those girls because they know what material girls want so it makes easier to control them, or they just want to show their attractiveness by switching girls as soon as possible. All these ill-advised ideas can possibly come from the commercial movies or public scandals. Material girls’ appearance also raises the question of why people get married nowadays. What percentage of true love, fame, and economy each play in the term of choosing a partner? According to these dating programs, what I can see is the rise of economic status being played in these shows. Male guests like to give a summary of their economic background on their introduction videos, such as saying they have house or car to add points for themselves. On the other hand, female candidates like to ask men about their incomes. There is one famous catchword about males spreading over the Internet, which is “if you are a tall, handsome, and wealthy guy, girls will come to you; and if you are not a tall, handsome, and wealthy guy, try to be a rich, moneyed, and wealthy guy”. Although this is just a joke teenagers enjoy making with their peers, it demonstrates a shifting on the young’s values about marriage. The thoughts that money can fix everything should be shut down. This is no longer only parents’ responsibility, but also the media’s. China is still in the social transformation period, what media says about our society plays a very important role of shaping citizens’ ethnical value. If media keeps avoiding their social responsibilities, the shallow principle will finally take over the position of our moral standards. I don’t want to see my little cousin being pound of hooking up with a rich guy in the future; instead, I hope the phenomenon of the material girl can disappear with her generation and everybody can select their partner based on the right personal values and be happy ever after.

Works Cited
Cherlin, Andrew J. Public and Private Families A Reader. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
China: What is it Like to be on the Chinese Gameshow Fei Cheng Wu Rao(If You Are the One)?”Quora. Web. 13 Sep.2012. < http://www.quora.com/China/What-is-it-like-to-be-on-the-Chinese-gameshow-Fei-Cheng-Wu-Rao-If-you-are-the-one
>

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