As we are in the era of knowledge based society. We know how to use and grab plenty of information wisely and also media literacy. In other words, we cannot avoid getting the information from the media. Lifestyle of living and the incoming of technology triggers a lot of new media rising. In order to serve people’s needs until “media stereotypes” happen in our society.

We all realise that nowadays there’s not only mass media in the society like the previous days. It also include advertising banners on roadside, the declaration of shopping malls, sms, or social media play a role as media. To give an example, the comment on sms or social media on the internet or even web board. The theory of psychology confirms that the expression of people’s behavior in positive and negative comments come from different motivations. Accordingly, we have met a lot of stereotypes in every society. 

What Happen in Our Society?

In our society, we all create a lot of stereotypes especially in people who look different from us. In a part of knowledge, culture, gender and appearance. The following paragraph will demonstrate and discuss stereotypes in media society. It also represent a comparison between Thai and international stereotypes. What is the different and similar point.

Our experience can create stereotype since we collect through many media channels. For an example, soap opera, novel, and Television. It can trigger some concept and ideas to people unconsciously. That thought delivers to some group of people when thinking or creating advertisements, soap operas or any performance. And become a stereotype in the media. Another important, specifying people’s roles with stereotypes is always an effective way to make an audience understand easily. They are able to feel with the characters. Many media creators use this concept(stereotype) to the encouraging viewer’s emotion and empathy.

International Media Perspective

Focus on international norms, different places have different values. People have their own definition of beauty. Sometimes, the definition that people have among beauty can be influenced. Since in the present people can be connected more easily. It can be seen that stereotypes can influence across places.

People are all connected via social media platforms. It’s a platform where people can share and receive the information and that information is able to expand very quickly. In the other words, it’s like everyone is living in the same village. It makes the trend expand to a larger group very quickly. There are several obvious examples in society. To illustrate, in the past there are more racist conflicts happening in the society than today. It does not happen in everywhere but it occurs in many societies. They often value white skin more than coloured and it may causes bullying that affects their lives.  

On the other hand, sometimes different perspectives can cause a conflict. As it’s mentioned that the internet can help spread information. It means that everyone can access the information and there is not everyone who agrees with the opinion. For an example, a model named Deddeh Howard, a coloured model who got rejected for a reason that the agency likes them but they already have a coloured model. It makes her feels tired of a narrow minded. She thinks that they shouldn’t limit the number of colored girls. It triggers her to create a campaign called Black Mirror. The campaign is to recreate several fashion campaigns that use white skin models. She doesn’t try to convey that she’s better than them but she tries to show that colored models can look shiny in those positions too.

International view of beauty

To focus on the international view of beauty, this example can describe a view toward beauty of different countries very clearly. Journalist Esther Honig sent a photo of herself to graphic designers in more than 20 countries of a task to edit the woman in the photo to make her beautiful in the graphic designer’s definition.

The result is that each photo represents the beauty standard and culture of the country. The original photo is a photo that has not been through any edit. It shows her bare face without any filter or make up. The graphic designer will be able to edit the photo easily in their own way so that the result won’t be bias. It also creates a better vision. 

The photos above are the photo that has already been edited by the graphic designer. It gives an obvious result. It shows different definitions of each country toward beauty. There’re many elements that can clearly explain such as a skin color, make up, shape of her face, and also hair style. American editor gives her a bright blue eye and long hair while Israel designs her a dark brown eye and skin. Other editors also create a look that shows an identity of the country. Next, we will discuss stereotypes in Thai society.

Thai Media Perspective

Turning to Thai media society, we can see a lot of stereotypes which always focus on appearances especially in women, status or position in the society, occupation, social discrimination, and gender. These are the main types that we can see via media both online and offline. To give an example, white skinned represents a beautiful girl. People from northeast Thailand represent rustic or rural people. A man who has a mustache is a bad guy. A motorcycle taxi driver or security guard is portrayed as a villager. We can see the story like this a lot in Thai media. Next, we will give an example of stereotypes in Thai media which sometimes can get a lot of attention from the audience. 

Norm becomes stereotype

The first example is the advertising of instant messenger applications. It can be seen from the ads, all of the components in the story(e.g dialogue) represent stereotype of  Freshmen Welcoming Ceremony(rub-nong) in Thailand. The way they represent this activity, it represent a funny and love story. It clearly reflect the producer and brand owner thought. It seems like they neglect this issue and approve to present in the media even it’s an activity that is absolutely contrary to human rights and democratic governance.

According to the ads, most of Thai people will understand that it’s just a minor matter and normal thing for the society. It will even support this stereotype because most of us who watch this ads will think that it is a tradition then it should continue and keep going without any harm. Actually this thought/perspective should not come up as SOTUS stereotypes will continue without a guilt. Nevertheless, there is no difference between these ads and some soap operas that portray a senior act as a lovely, gentle man, and respectable. More Than that, the brand owner also creates the competition by creating parody video clips under SOTUS topic. It is free media that provide advantage to the brand and the most important thing is the public will think that it’s very normal and reinforce more  stereotypes.   

Women’s appearance towards Thai media

Another example is an advertisement that focuses on women’s appearance like if you are white or slim then you are beautiful and get more opportunity to succeed in life and love which it’s shown as a stereotype in Thai media.

This advertisement shows that women with white skin always look beautiful. They will have more chance to be in a spotlight where the majority take an interest on. Like in the ads that her friend try to bully in spite of she did not do anything just because her appearance did not like others expectation or majority stereotype. 

It shows that Thai people concern about women’s appearance first by not really reaching through their minds. It gives rise to hyper identity. This girl has to change her appearance so as to have a standing point in the society and make her better life. These ads represent the audience to notice that if your appearance matches with the majority stereotype then you will have a standpoint so as to the great opportunity in Thai society.  

Lastly, the example of stereotype in thai media, regarding tubby people who want to change their appearance in order to succeed in love which shows that shapely can make her life change better. In fact, this factor should not be a concern for every lady as everyone has a unique appearance and I believe that being ourselves is the most beautiful thing. “Beautiful has nothing to do with looks. It’s how you are as a person and how you make others feel about themself ”. 

Thai VS International perspective

If comparing international perspective to Thai perspective it can be seen that different societies have different cultures and views. Some cultures that look good for Thais might create different perspectives for others. Meanwhile, it’s not always different, some societies have the same thought on some beauty standard. Although, it doesn’t mean that people in the same society have all the same thought. It’s just that society can influence people’s thoughts. Contrality, their thinking can also be shaped by information in social media as mentioned in the article that it’s very easy to access to social media.