Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dr. Rog and Leadership - extra reflection

     Dr. Casey spoke with us about leadership in class on Thursday, how he came into his leadership, how he handles the leadership, etc. He mentioned that, had he not become President of McDaniel, had he remained a professor, he would be equally satisfied. I thought this was interesting in regards to the Hunger Games.
     What if Katniss hadn't volunteered as tribute? What if she remained in District 12 and had never taken on the role of Mockingjay? Had she not been thrust into the leadership role she took on, would she, like Dr. Casey, have been happy?
     In some respects, I think she would have been much happier. She probably would have ended up with Gale, she would not have lost Prim, she wouldn't be battling depression and abuse. But, had she not become the Mockingjay, there would still be a Hunger Games, an oppressive government, 23 kids dying every year under President Snow, or another authoritarian "president." 
     Katniss' leadership role was not something she necessarily wanted. She did not plan on leading a revolution and overthrowing a government. However, when she needed to, she came into her role and commanded respect and attention. Her personality lent itself to her success, and I think that Dr. Casey shares that with Katniss. His charismatic personality (very different from Katniss', but providing the same result) allows him to be a successful leader on campus, in the community, and across the nation. 

Standards of Beauty

     This post is kind of a spin off of our class with Dr. Raley. Her talk mostly focused on gender stereotypes, things that society has dictated being "feminine", or "masculine". Why is it okay for a woman to act masculine, while men who act feminine are emasculated? We also talked about standards of beauty for women. As that standard rises for women, so it does for men. "Manscaping" is common in men - women today don't want a man with too much body hair. What I want to focus on here is that rising standard and how it's seen in the Hunger Games.
     In the Districts, people don't worry about appearances, as staying alive and not starving death are so much more important; the Capitol also takes most fabric, so clothing is limited. When Katniss first gets to the Capitol, the three stylists have to do a "full body clean" to make her presentable enough to hand over to Cinna. Shaving and tweezing and waxing are just a few of the things the trio had to do to get her ready. Cinna then applied makeup, did her hair elaborately, and dressed her in a gown sure to impress the Capitol.
     The men tributes too have to go through this process because of how high the standard of beauty in the Capitol is. In the Capitol everyone wears crazy clothes, dyes their hair - and even their skin - different bright colors, puts on crazy makeup. Not just women get so wild in their appearance, the men do too. High standards, born of so much excess, have reached insane heights in the Capitol, and every year they make sure every tribute who comes to die reaches those standards. Appearance wins tributes sponsors in the Capitol. Sponsors can save someone's life based on that first carriage ride, to put into perspective how important appearance is to them.
     I don't think American standards of beauty will ever reach the crazy levels they did in the Capitol, but that's not to say that they aren't high. Men and women have a lot of pressure put on them every day to look and act a certain way. And I don't think that is ever going to change.