Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pretty Little Liars: Promoting or Breaking Down Stereotypes

Pretty Little Liars is a popular television show that is watched by many around the world, especially by teenage girls. It focuses on the lives of the four main characters, Emily, Spencer, Hannah, and Aria as they deal with their friend Alison’s kidnapping. On top of that they are trying to find out who the person is that is targeting and stalking them over text. The show is them trying to reveal the identity of that person. Pretty Little Liars is a show that simultaneously breaks and promotes the ideologies and stereotypes of today's society.

Pretty Little Liars breaks down the ideology and stereotypes of society because the show target the idea that girls need a guy to come and save them when they are in trouble. The show also has characters who face many issues and topics that are relevant in teen lives today such as sexuality and body image. There are multiple occurrences in the show in which one of the four main characters has to defend themselves. There is a situation in which the characters are on a Halloween train and Spencer is attacked by a masked figure while walking in a deserted part of the train. She has to defend herself in order to escape the situation. There are multiple issues and topics that emerge throughout the course of the show that pertain to many teen issues today. One of the biggest topics that is addressed is sexuality. One of the main characters Emily is struggling with the fact that she is a lesbian. The shows portrays her journey and how her relationships evolve. Body image is another issue that is seen through Hannah who struggles with image throughout the seasons of the show. Hannah loses weight because she was bullied for being over weight.  Hannah’s story focuses on body image and striving to be the "perfect size" which affects many teenagers today.

While Pretty Little Liars does a nice job of focusing on breaking down stereotypes,  it also portrays unrealistic situations and the stereotypical mean girl. There are many situations throughout the show that are simply unrealistic, one being the premise of the show that four girls are targeted by an anonymous stalker who knows everything about them. Also the main characters often commit crimes in their quest to find out who is stalking them without getting caught. The way that they avoid the law in some situations seems unrealistic. The show also portrays the stereotypical mean girl that is seen in many movies and television shows. Alison was the mean girl and the leader of the group. Alison had the stereotypical influence over her friends that mean girl in movies and television show often do. Overall Pretty Little Liars is a work that portrays some elements of society in a way that breaks down the traditional ideology but in some cases it tends to conform as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment