Good Morning invited guests and members of the United Nations Youth Forum. Today I am privileged to have the opportunity to address the issues surrounding youth media, and how various forms of media are negatively affecting the wellbeing of our Australian youth. As outlined in Susan Gigli’s 2004 report, rising levels of substance abuse amongst our youth, is increasingly attributed to inappropriate role models. Gigli’s contentions about the wellbeing of susceptible youth who are targeted by inappropriate, amoral media is as relevant in 2015, as it was in her 2004 research findings. Gigli tells us that, “Growing numbers of parents, educators and policy-makers around the world are alarmed about the lack of quality media for children and young people and the growing availability of low-quality entertainment featuring violence, sexual content and undesirable role models.” In response to Susan Gigli’s 2004 report, I will utilise an example of current media, the lyrics of Eminem and Nate Dogg’s “Shake That”. To prove that while the media today broadens audience perspectives, it presents harmful role models and leads to a confusion of morals and values for today’s youth. Careful examination of the written song lyrics and the visual and filmic techniques in Eminem and Nate Dogg’s music clip strongly support Gigli’s key contentions outlines in the report.
The music clip, “Shake that” by Eminem and Nate Dogg may provide an insight into Western youth behaviours, ethics and fashion, however, it most certainly presents harmful role model for such things. One of the first things that can be recognised immediately in the music clip is that it is a cartoon. This is interesting, as this appeals to the youth audience, as cartoons are commonly associated with children, as they have an interest in this type of media. This captures the attention of our youth and encourages them to listen to the song, as well as watch the clip. Gigli addresses this common issue, as she states that today’s youth have an “apparent inability to distinguish clearly between content”. This further illustrates the fact that through the use of various filmic techniques, in the music clip “Shake That”, Eminem and Nate Dogg are able to have a negative impact on our youth today.
Drugs, Sex, Violence. Just three of the things that are quite obvious at glance of the lyrics to “Shake That”. As the name of the song suggests, most of the song has to do with the objectification of women and male chauvinism. This is shown in the chorus of the song, as it repeats the statement, “Shake that ass for me”. Eminem and Nate Dogg have used the constant repetition of the statement to encourage and influence our youth into believing these values of male chauvinism and female objectification. These two values are again reiterated throughout the song in statements, such as, “I’m looking for a girl that will do whatever”. Constantly using repetition as a technique to heavily impact our youth and their perception of women. Eminem and Nate Dogg also encourage drug use and violence in their song. The three drugs that they encourage the use of are; marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol. These are the three most common drugs in a party environment, which is where the music clip situates the artists, again negatively encouraging and confusing our youth as to how they should act when put in a party environment. Our youth are also encouraged to participate in violent actions, as stated in the text, “If I ain’t got a weapon I’m a pick up a rock”, reassuring our children that violence is the best way to solve any conflict. Through the use of various lyrical techniques, Eminem and Nate Dogg are able to negatively portray a party environment and leave our youth with a confusion of values, as well as presented our youth with