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Monday, March 29, 2010

Survey: "Mainstreams"

Thank you to Leviana from LOVE & COFFEE SHOP for letting me part for her assignment! She mailed me this survey and I just felt like posting it here.

*I wasn't to familiar with some of the question I apologise if I ran out of point!

PURPOSE: To identify how girls are dealing with/have dealt with the struggles of youth differently than what the mainstream media has deemed as “normal.”


1. Which period of your life (identify it by age) was the most difficult? What factors played into this difficulty?
-13 years old.

2. During this time period, what were the dominant media that you viewed/read/embraced? (Magazines, television, newspapers, radio, billboards, advertisements, etc).
-Magazines & Television.

3. Have you ever felt like you were not able to express how you were feeling because the “mainstream” (more dominant perspectives and modes of communication) deemed what you felt was/were important, meaningless? (For example, were there photographs of thin and/or curvy women on the front page of a mainstream magazine that you felt dictated who you had to be?)
-Yes. During a certain point of time.

4. Did you find a way to express how you were feeling? If so, how did you find your voice?
-Yes,through writing.

5. Which event/incident during this period of your life really affected you as a girl (menarche [the first time you got your period], sexual/physical abuse, an eating disorder, family problems, insecurities, feelings of being neglected, difficult financial situation, not being noticed by a certain person, different sexual orientation, bullying, different values/opinions/beliefs, teen pregnancy, etc)? Why do you think you this incident was/these incidents were so harsh?
-There were lots of incidents,but insecurities & neglect were the ones that really affected me deeply.

6.In this same time period, were there any social problem(s), conflict(s), or anxiety/ies that you did not agree with? If so, what were they?
-Yes,I wouldn't specifically say what were they but most of them has to do with friends & feeling the need to meet people expectations.

7.How did you resist these social problems/conflicts/anxieties? (Did you take part in any anti-social movements, like an all-girl organization, blog, zine, etc., to apply your resistance? Why did you feel the need to resist to such a problem?)
-I decided to set up a blog. I wanted to distract myself from these problems because I didn't want any of these problems to take control of me or go overboard. And I found out that owning a blog was one of the where I could easily honestly express myself.

8. Did you know any other girls in your situation/experiencing similar threats? How were they like you? How were they unlike you? (Race, beliefs, style of dress, social class, etc).
-No,not many.I wasn't really close with anyone,so they didn't talk out their problems with me that much.

9.What does the word “mainstream” mean to you? How does/did the identity of the “mainstream society” affect you?
-To me,"mainstream" is like a large group where people feel that they have this need to follow and do the same thing as one another(especially friends),because maybe,I guess, by not following the same thing they felt left out and worried people would think of them differently. And I kinda understand that certain people don't want to be left out or don't want to be look at so awkwardly different from everybody else.

I guess it affected me emotionally. Its a tough decision to make,because at times I had to decide on whether you should follow this and that just so you could please and sort of impress everyone or whether I could just go ahead and be my own self and express myself in certain ways that I felt comfortable with. So in the end,I tried to balance out everything. I decided to express myself in my own way but at the same time I tried to keep up with what the mainstream society were doing or wearing. If I felt that a certain activity or trend the mainstream did was good or beneficial to me I'd follow,but if not. Then no.

10.How do you reflect your difference(s) from the “mainstream” into your daily life? (Do you behave differently than the “mainstream” would expect? Do you wear different clothing than the current styles deem “normal?” Do you take part in any group activities promoting identity, equality, and other things that the “mainstream” counters?)
-I don't take part in any activities,but sometimes I do wear different clothing rather than the current trends.

11.How would you describe the means of communication you use most to express your identity to the “broader mainstream public?” What do you do differently in your means of communication that separates you from the “mainstream” methods of communication?

-Writing,I guess.

12.Have you ever been asked by a “mainstream” representative (someone that perhaps has grown up with hegemonic values) to stop expressing your “different” self? If so, how did this representative present their stance? How did you react? If not, how do you think this representative would present their stance? How would you react?
-No never been asked before. But if I ever were to be lecture/stop by this representative about how I should stop being my "different" self and all,I'd probably won't keep my mouth shut and won't react much and just continue with my "different" self. And this is because,
1)I don't really find a reason why that we all have to follow a particular style,particular movement etc. I can't bring myself to agree that we should all follow what the "mainstream" is portraying. I think that we all have different beliefs,different dreams,motto etc. and because of this we each have different ways to express ourselves.
2)I parents has always taught me to be independent and not follow what other people are doing. I mean,to just do your own thing as long as its worth it and its right for me.

13.Have you ever seen your styles of communication and dress, your beliefs, and your values being sold into the “mainstream” world so others can get a hold of your own identity? (Do you dress/talk a certain way to express how you resist hegemonic values and find that more and more people are obtaining your style and taste? Why have they acquired your taste?)
-I'm not sure,I hadn't realise any of that. Maybe..

14.Have you ever been discriminated against in a public setting (work/social setting)? If so, what happened? Why do you think it happened?

15.Have you ever been discriminated against in a private setting (family/friendly setting)? If so, what happened? Why do you think it happened?


I. Do you have a blog? YES/NO

II. In which year period were you born? 1980-1985, 1985-1990, 1990-1995

III. Were you born in Canada? YES/NO (If you were not born in Canada, where were you born? _________________________________Singapore__________)

IV.Where are you on the political spectrum? RIGHT/CENTRE-RIGHT/CENTRE/CENTRE-LEFT/LEFT

V.How many hours a day do you spend on the Internet? 0-2, 2-4, 4-6, 6-8, 8+

VI.How many hours a day do you spend watching TV? 0-2, 2-4 4-6, 6-8, 8




  1. Hey! Thanks so much for taking the time to fill out my survey and for posting it on your blog. It really means a lot :) :)

  2. 13 was when I found a lot of things tough too. xo.


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