Culture is a reflection of social norms and stereotypes related also to the characteristics of racial differences between humans. Modern pop culture demonstrates the predominance of white actors, musicians, singers, etc., while the non-white race plays the secondary role. It may seem that it does not really matter because the official racial prejudice against non-white people was abolished a few centuries ago, and official racial discrimination in the United States ceased to exist. However, despite this, it makes sense to examine the prevalence of white culture as a residual phenomenon caused by racial discrimination. Given that the culture allows each race to present itself, the lack of representation of non-white culture cannot be seen as a positive phenomenon. Culture is one of the main ways in which different peoples and races can present their identity. For this reason, I am convinced that the whiteness in pop culture can have a negative role for minority audiences since it makes it impossible for them to present their non-white racial and cultural identity. The predominance of the white culture negates the uniqueness of racial differences and cultural characteristics, the main task of which is to determine the self-presentation of different cultures, nationalities, and races. Thus, in the minds of minority audiences it causes the feeling that their race and cultural differences do not matter, despite the fact that they have the right to be represented in pop culture on a par with the white one.
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I believe that cultural identity is particularly important because it is the foundation for any culture, regardless of its type. In my opinion, cultural identity defines the methods of connection between individuals with an infinite world of culture as well as the ratio of internal and external, finite and infinite, adaptation and protection of one’s identity. Based on my own observations, I suppose that there are the following components of the process of cultural identity: 1) the structural basis – the ratio of traditions and innovation; 2) the presence of a goal – choice of a further way of development; and 3) existential basis – one’s own spiritual and cultural inner potential. In order to create something new, one needs to have “baggage” of knowledge about the cultural achievements of not only their own but also other cultures. Cultural identity is formed in the process of a cultural community creation, based on the selection and formation of a space in intercultural interaction by taking certain image and style. The value of cultural identity increases as a person meets with a variety of cultures. The task of understanding one’s own cultural values and goals is highly important.
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As one can see, cultural and racial identity can be achieved through self-presentation in pop culture. However, one can also observe the prevalence of white culture, which concerns even aesthetic standards dealing, in particular, with the issue of female beauty. Modern pop culture is the apotheosis of the beauty of the white skin. When I watch various movies and TV shows, I see that often their participants are members of the majority culture. Thus, pop culture also demonstrates the kind of colorism that is “a practice of discrimination in a particular community in which those with lighter skin tones are treated more favorably than those with darker skin tones” (Burris). The roots of colorism should be seen in racial prejudices and stereotypes that bind dark skin with such negative human qualities as aggressiveness, hyper sexuality, and illiteracy. Moreover, colorism is associated with the idea of female beauty as connected with white skin.
For me, pop culture has great significance because it offers a variety of means of entertainment and creative arts (all possible TV shows, concerts, music videos, movies, etc.). Nevertheless, despite its entertaining character, pop culture indicates the existence of not entertaining phenomena, one of which is colorism. Pop culture imposes stereotypes accepted among white people, who are extending them to the whole of society and not the individual groups. I think this fact can be considered as a kind of humiliation towards representatives of non-white races and cultures. The problem is compounded by the fact that pop culture not only demonstrates the superiority of the white culture over all others, but also cultivates the given approach. Various stereotypes and prejudices not only do not disappear but become more common. I am personally convinced that pop culture should present a variety of cultural and racial differences and characteristics. I do not think that it has the right to reverse the uniqueness and originality of different cultural identities and racial characteristics. The prevalence of the white culture in my opinion has primarily a negative psychological impact on cultural and racial minorities.
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To sum up, the prevalence of the whiteness in pop culture should be considered in terms of its negative impact primarily on psychological identity of racial minorities. This fact violates the principle according to which each race has the right to self-presentation, particularly in pop culture. However, this violation can be observed in the prevalence of the white culture and the phenomenon called colorism, which demonstrates disregard and contempt for non-white cultures and races. I believe that such policy is unacceptable since it violates the right to self-determination of each culture and race that is achieved in particular by presentation of the cultural identity.
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