Popular Culture in Today's Society

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Reflections of Pop Culture on Society

Popular culture, commonly referred to as "pop culture", is constantly changing and

heavily influencing people worldwide; one can hardly tell the history of the human race

without some mention of pop culture. Pop culture molds and defines the beliefs and

values, as well as, influences the actions of society. Social media, as well as the natural

ache we all carry to fit in, pushes people to embrace and succumb to pop culture.

Pop culture greatly influences what people choose to do, such as: where to eat, what to

buy, where to go on vacation, or what music music to listen to. We have all heard an

advertisement on the radio for the local restaurants or heard our favorite musician telling

us which radio station we should listen to. What about our favorite celebrity boasting

about which store they buy their clothes from? We see these people being adored by the

public and want to be like them. So we head out to the nearest department store and buy

the same brand of jeans or sneakers. When we see celebrities we want to ne like them, be

adored like them. In his poem "Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven," Hans

Ostrom says that Dickinson "sports Levis and western blouses with rhinestones" and

Presley "wears baggy trousers and T-shirts, a letterman's jacket from Tupelo High" (759).

Ostrom is making reference to how Emily Dicksinson and Elvis Presley are even

following current trends in Heaven.

Pop culture has a considerable influence on the way we, society, view ourselves and each

other. When we look at the covers of magazines and see the thin women and the buff

men, we think that is the acceptable way to look and work to make ourselves look that

way. We see that as the only way to be considered attractive and acceptable. As people,

ant to be like the things we see around us. We yearn to be accepted and have found that

submitting to the current fads gains us the popularity and acceptance we ache for. In the

essay "Corn-Pone Opinions" it was said that "We are creatures of outside influence; as a

rule we do not think, we only imitate"(Twain 717). If someone hears that a specific movie

receiving good reviews from the people in their neighborhood, they will go see that

movie to fit in, whether it seems like something that would interest them or not. Someone

will spend their whole life going to see the movies or eating at the restaurants that

everyone else likes or other such things because "the outside influences are always

pouring in upon us, and we are always obeying their orders and accepting their

verdicts"(Twain 719).

Pop culture is often used as a means to reflect someone's views, which are then accepted

into the minds of society. An example of this is the 1954 hit, Godzilla. This movie was

released with the intent of spreading the political views of the director, Ishiro Honda.

However, the version of the movie that became popular worldwide was "stripped of the

political subtext- and the anti-American, antinuclear messages"(Staples 723). Americans

would not want to watch a movie that was dripping in disdain towards the American

government's decision to use nuclear weapons. Had Godzilla been shown as more than a

"conventional monster-on-the-loose movie", it probably would not have been as popular

in the United States (Staples 723). Even today people are using social networking sites

such as youtube, facebook, and twitter to express their opinions about what is going on in

the world (i.e. Kony 2012).

Society is also reflected in popular movies and books. Most teen movies follow the same

simliar plots with similiar characters. They have a tall, slim female who rules the school

with her jock boyfriend. Nowadays the enemy is no longer authority, it is "other teens and

the social system that they impose on one...
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