Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tara's First Blog Post--"The Rhodes Bros"

Blog post from 1/23/15

So my first blog post is about a Youtube video that I watched recently. It was made by "The Rhodes Bros"--aka Aaron and Austin Rhodes--who are twin brothers that both came out as gay to their father over a phone call. The video was approximately 8 1/2 minutes long. Much like the selfie photos we have been analyzing, in terms of surroundings, attire, demeanor, etc., this video can be looked at for the same qualities. For one, both of the brothers were nervous before making the call, as heard through their shaky voices and verbal comments that they were nervous. They later cried during the phone call as they were telling their father about their sexual orientation, but then "10 minutes later" they had smiles of relief on their faces and expressed how happy they were to have "10 million pounds lifted off [their] shoulders" after making the call. Thus, this challenges the traditional gender stereotype of males having to maintain a "strong" persona and not show their emotional sides. The twin brothers also wore similar attire, in that they each wore the same style of sweater but one was black and the other was grey, which I believes shows their solidarity with one another. They also have blonde hair, blue eyes, model good looks, and appear through their physical identity as stereotypical "all-American guys." Additionally, the background was a whitewashed bedroom, and they were both sitting on a bed, which discloses their intimate and personal setting, as they might live together or were simply relying on each other for support during this difficult phone call. This video definitely represents a familial identity, in that these brothers are very close and chose to make the call together rather than alone. It also shows their fear of upsetting their father or just his reaction alone, as they said that they had told all of their family members aside from him up until this point. The father's familial identity is also addressed in this video, as his voice is heard on the other end of the line (he is on speaker) and the words he says are presented at the bottom of the screen. He neither asks his sons to change who they are nor blatantly disapproves of their sexual orientation, but does say that he loves them and this situation "is what it is." This video most definitely concerns identity in terms of sexuality, as the boys' main concern was using this social media platform to post their video about coming out to their father. They relay that their message moving forward is to encourage others to "be themselves" and do whatever makes them happy, whether they are gay, bisexual, transgender, or straight and dealing with other issues. Also, they invite people who have come out or who have yet to come out to share their stories in the comments, as they will read all of them. This invitation reminds me of Rettberg's article, as she talks about people posting words and images online in order to have a conversation with their peers in the world. The brothers' personal and informal tone makes this video relatable, and I believe provides appeal for many types of viewers. Clearly, their video has become very popular, as it has over 14 million views. I definitely think this video applies to our class in regards to defining one's identity through his or her online presence.
Here's a link to the video:

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