Bata Bata, Maganda Ba Sila? Childrens Reading of Beauty in Television Commcercials
This research study determined children’s reading of beauty in television commercials featuring local personalities. Historically, beauty, as an ambiguous concept, was one of the many reasons behind racial discrimination and social stratification in countries all over the world. But significantly, television beauty soap commercials empowered women in the Philippines in 1990. Ten years later, physical characteristics in Philippine television commercials were heavily promoted in the early 2000. With the ability of television commercials to embed messages deeper because of frequent repetition, children audiences were susceptible to dictation of ideas and concepts such as beauty. It is for this reason that this study seeks to understand how do children, in selected areas, ages 10-12, read the concept of beauty in television commercials featuring local personalities. It aims to identify the elements that children consider in defining beauty as well as to determine the external and internal factors that influence their perception. This study utilized three theories, the Encoding/Decoding Theory of Stuart Hall, the Symbolic Convergence Theory of Bormann et.al and F. Landa Jocano’s Filipino Value System. A focus interview was conducted in three elementary schools and two expert interviewees. Findings revealed that television influences children’s perception, especially with frequent television exposure. However, data showed that the immediate environment of children still strongly shapes their perception and how closely attached they are with the people around them and how frequent small group interaction occurs.