Media and art serve as a platform for political opinions to be expressed and voices to be heard.
Joy Villa made headlines and turned heads at this year’s Grammy Awards by adorning a dress plastered with wall references. The dress, which was silver and had the words “Build the Wall” on the back of it, caused more conversation— and all over controversy— than most of the choices for awards themselves.
Villa is known for attending award shows styled in controversial dresses that raise discussion about various political debates and movements. Two years ago, Villa’s outfit brought the topic of abortion to the forefront of the red carpet. Media and art in general tend to be a hub of debate.
“This Is America,” by Childish Gambino, made history at this year’s awards by being the first rap song to win the Grammy for Song of the Year. The song, which discusses the problematic state our country is currently in, is paired with a controversial music video that sheds light on gun violence and overall chaos in the United States. The music video is difficult to watch, but a prevalent form of media. It portrays events that people may not realize happen every single day—not only in the world in general, but also right here at home—but do.
Camila Cabello opened this year’s Grammy Awards with the support from Ricky Martin, Young Thug, J Balvin and Cuban-American jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. During their performance, Balvin held up a newspaper prop that read, “Build Bridges, Not Walls” to speak out about the border wall dispute being officiated by President Trump.
Media is a place where people feel as though they can exercise their right to speak their mind and express concern. With that, media acts like a spring board to accelerate opinions that get communicated outward and whether you want it to or not, the entire world has access to your words.
Media can be seen as a negative outlet, but it also has the opportunity to create ripples in a society when it arguably needs it most. Last fall at New York Fashion Week for example, designer Chloe Gosselin debuted her Spring 2019 shoe collection that was based on the theme, “I am a voter.” During her shoe campaign, Gosselin played various speeches by women in politics as background noise while models walked the runway sporting shirts that said the tagline of the campaign, “I am a voter.” Hilary Clinton’s “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” speech was a prevalent speech of the campaign, along with speeches from Malala Yousafzai and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Another major aspect of the campaign was the star of the show, Leyna Bloom, who is a transgender model.
Women in media are portrayed in a specific way, especially regarding politics. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, is ridiculed for her looks and appearance, rather than her abilities. OcasioCortez—better known by her initials AOC—is portrayed as a woman that is too pretty for politics. She is even quoted saying, “Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office.”
Political and worldly opinions are present in the media constantly in today’s society. Even though politics are one of the topics you aren’t meant to discuss at the dinner table, they are one of the most popular topics universally.