This is a class blog run by Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru and her students in the course "Telenovelas, Culture and Society" at the University of Georgia during Spring 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A curious observation

I know nothing about telenovelas. Nada. The only times I ever come close to watching Spanish television are when baseball on ESPN has bored me so much that I switch to soccer on Telemundo. My Mexican stepfather watches telenovelas when he has the day off. To my knowledge, he's never been "hooked" by one to the point where he absolutely must watch it. Or maybe he has. I'll be sure to ask him when I actually remember!

We're seen many trailers and openings for telenovelas in class. To promote these shows, men will typically lower their voices to sell. I find this really humorous, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that this is commonplace in sales. It's not just a Hispanic thing. In the U.S., you can observe this advertising technique in some American car commercials. I watch a good deal of Asian television and movies (thank Mom), and I swear the men will drop three octaves to sell a product or to promote a show. Why is this? Is there some element of masculinity that I wasn't aware of that can be used as a tool to sell? Does a man (vs. a woman) advertising attract men or women more, or is the sale of product truly based on the nature of the product (ex.: car vs. television show)?

It's because of this silly little observation that I want to observe differences in gender in telenovelas. Perhaps stepping outside of my comfort zone/culture will permit me to see how the world wants to perceive men and women, and how the media uses this to sell (God, I'm such a Tele major!). Maybe the best way to observe these international gender divisions will be through Hispanic super-melodrama in telenovelas!

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