From Teen Star to Teen Mom: The Jamie Lynn Spears Scandal of 2007

By Cassie Rodriguez


Image courtesy of Youtube/ People Magazine

In 2007, it was revealed that Nickelodeon actress and rising star Jamie Lynn Spears was pregnant at 16 years old. Painted as the innocent younger sister of raunchy Britney Spears, the media was ruthless in covering the scandal by using headlines such as “Shocked and Scared but Keeping Her Baby” and “Destroyed By Mama; Shame on Lynn Spears.” Being pregnant was the ultimate downfall for any teenage girl in the early 2000s, and it was even more sensationalized for teenage celebrities.

“Good Girl Gone Bad” Stereotype

Known for her leading role as Zoey Brooks in Zoey 101Spears had built a long-standing image of being a wholesome, typical teenager in the eyes of the media. As the baby sister of pop star Britney Spears, it was not surprising that Spears was pinned as the antithesis to Britney, who was going through a lot of #DamageControl herself at the time. Some tabloids even stated that Spears had “upstaged the trainwreck” that was her older sister.

Spears discovered that she was pregnant while with some friends in a gas station bathroom. Almost immediately, stereotyping attacks were made calling her “trailer trash” and a disappointment to viewers and young girls everywhere.

A Decision She Could Sleep With 

Being so young and defenseless, Spears responded to the crisis by hiding away for three weeks and staying out of the spotlight. Eventually, she also defended her decision to keep her baby, stating that she had to make a decision that she could “sleep with at night.”

In 2016, Spears released a #documentary entitled When the Lights Go Out, capturing the emotional journey she endured after discovering that she was pregnant.

In my research paper, I will analyze both the media’s reaction to Spears’s pregnancy and how she responded to the sensationalization and constant attacks from the media. I will do this by referencing the different theories and strategies we have discussed in class.



3 Things Students Can Do to Prepare for Finals

By Cassie Rodriguez

The spring semester has nearly slipped out of our hands as it quickly begins to wind down. As of this week, students only have three weeks left until final exams begin.

While this may sound like plenty of time, finals tend to sneak up on us as we rush to finish our last few assignments, make plans for summer (and possibly graduation) and register for the following semester. For many students, this means a stressful week of cramming, all-nighters and heightened test anxiety is ahead.


However, that doesn’t have to be the case. The Office of Academic Support Programs at Baylor is here to help alleviate that stress and prevent those awful cramming sessions from happening (which, by the way, don’t help you retain information!)

Here are three things Academic Support Programs (or ASP) are doing to help students optimize their success on their final exams:

  1. Finals Packets

Each semester, ASP puts together a comprehensive Finals Packet that contains tons of useful tools and information such as the final exams schedule, three different comprehensive study plans (because each student studies a little differently) and lots of helpful tips for test taking and preparation.

Students can pick one up from the ASP office anytime during regular office hours or print one out at the ASP website here.

  1. “Preparing for Finals” Workshops

From April 23-26, ASP will be holding come-and-go workshops that students may attend to get a head start on preparing for finals. These workshops, led by academic mentors, will provide students with a personalized study plan and helpful strategies based on their exam subject and course material. Students should bring their lecture notes, syllabus and exam review with them for the best results. Read more about it here.

  1. Extended Study Commons Hours

Understandably, the Baylor libraries are known for becoming massively overcrowded and noisy during finals. To provide for a quiet, alternative study spot, ASP will be extending its Study Commons hours until 9 p.m. during finals and serving free coffee to students April 30-May 2.

Taking final exams doesn’t have to be as awful as everyone says it is. With all the resources Baylor has to offer, students can easily find help if they ask for it.

Cassie Rodriguez is a senior Journalism, Public Relations & New Media student from Katy, TX.

Goals & Objectives: Grove Hill Farms

With any new business, the real groundwork lies in developing your brand and figuring out what exactly you want your publics to know about you. Before we market something, we must first define what we are marketing and how we can sell it to our audiences.

Grove Hill Farms is a family-oriented farm located in Leonard, TX set to open in September 2018. Due to the nature of farming, there is not anything currently ready for consumers to enjoy and interact with. Over time, the farm will be a beautiful location full of Christmas trees, tulips, pumpkin patches and more throughout the seasons.

Because there is not currently a “product” to advertise, we must communicate to our audiences what Grove Hill Farms will be upon completion and the opportunities it will offer for families to create lifelong memories to cherish forever.

With an up-and-coming business like Grove Hill Farms, this step is vital in creating brand awareness and creating a central goal. For the purpose of this campaign, my group and I have determined that our main goal is to:

Generate brand awareness and increase farm participation through consistent and specific marketing and communication strategies.

Being a brand-new business that has yet to create brand loyalty with customers, creating a simple and attainable goal focused on increasing brand awareness is the best way to start our campaign.

With our main goal identified, we then faced the task of deciding who would be best to market Grove Hill Farms to. After extensive research, numerous group meetings and alterations, we finally decided on our three main publics:

  • Public One: immediate and extended families with young children
  • Public Two: school districts, elementary schools, teachers (field trips, educational purposes)
  • Public Three: Business-to-business partnerships (local businesses, other local farms, etc.)

With three target publics to focus on, we then created objectives, strategies, tactics and messages tailored for each one.

Forming specific objectives for each of our publics was a pretty difficult step in the process. My team and I struggled with defining our objectives and making sure we were making them reasonable and timely, seeing as the farm is set to open in a few months.


We worked really hard on narrowing our objectives down for each public and making sure they reinforce our central goal.

For our Public One (families), we decided that our main objectives would be to:

  • Create awareness through social media by increasing our following by 1,000 in the first year of operation.
  • In the first year of business, average 500 visitors per week during peak seasons.

We believe that these objectives would be best supported by focusing on social media as a means of communicating with our Public One. With many moms being on Instagram, we could use the Grove Hill Farms Instagram page (@GrovehillFarms) to push out paid advertisements, engage with followers, do special giveaways and create a better brand awareness for the farm.

For Public Two (school districts and teachers), our objective is to:

  • Create relationships with school districts by informing 15 local schools about the farm opening and offering 10 field trip opportunities by September 2018.

Pitching our farm as a fun, educational opportunity for schoolchildren to local elementary schools and school districts will hopefully yield more school field trips and encourage teachers to tell others about how much fun Grove Hill Farms is. Our main tactic for this is to create new and improved print pieces to distribute to local schools and draft ideas for potential merchandise geared towards children.


A previous print handout for Grove Hill Farms

For Public Three (Business-to-business partnerships), our objective is to:

  • create potential partnerships by informing 15 local businesses about the farm’s existence in the first six months of operation

During class, we discussed forming partnerships with local farm-to-table restaurants, photographers, farmers markets and even the possibility of working with Waco-based Black Oak Art. Direct engagement with other businesses is key, so we plan to create email and telephone pitches to have readily available for when GHF interacts with other businesses. Also, we really want to highlight the businesses we work with via social media and feature stories.

My team and I have worked so hard to create this campaign in a way that will provide Grove Hill Farms with the highest amount of brand awareness in a limited time window. We are so excited to continue working with Amber and Kaylee and look forward to seeing our ideas and work take fruition.


From the Ground Up: Growing the Business of Grove Hill Farms

By Cassie Rodriguez

Initial Reaction to Client.png

When I was first placed into a group and assigned a client, I was a little nervous simply because I didn’t know anyone in my group very well (aside from Kelsey) and I wasn’t familiar with our client. Seeing as our client is a brand new business, that made me nervous as well. To be completely honest, I’m a nervous person in general. However, I quickly learned that working with new people and assisting a new business could actually be a more beneficial thing in the long run.

My first thought when our client explained to us what it is aiming to accomplish was that we have a farm just like that in my hometown called Dewberry Farm. My family and I love going there to see the pumpkin patch, ride the giant slide and get lost in the corn maze. Dewberry Farm is well-established, very popular and is a great example of how much fun Grove Hill Farms can be in the future.


Many of the same elements are the same: hayrides, pumpkin patches, animals and a memorable #family-oriented experience. With this in mind, it is a little easier to determine how we can help Grove Hill Farms.

Our direct points of contact for our client are Amber Bates, whom we met at the very beginning of the semester, and Kaylee Decker. Both have an extensive knowledge of #agriculture and are very passionate about what they do. According to Amber, Kaylee has a background in #socialmedia and is more in touch with today’s trends. They’ve worked for years in preparation for the opening of Grove Hill Farms and are ready to take the next step in adding marketing and public relations to their business plan.


That’s where our group comes in!

Since our client has given us so much freedom, they are very open to all of our ideas. So far, they have started an Instagram page (@GrovehillFarms) and created a flyer (see below). Amber plans to make a booth at her local Farmer’s Market to promote Grove Hill Farms and hand out these flyers.


We want to make sure that whatever we do, we are tracking our #ROI so that in the future, Amber and Kaylee can see what parts of our plan worked and what didn’t.

Reaction to My Group.png

So far, I’ve been working mainly on researching potential audiences (since the client is brand new) and how we can reach them. Every assignment we’ve done so far has been just challenging enough to where we are learning and practicing vital skills, but not being completely overwhelmed by the course load. I am currently in two group projects at once, but the project for my other class will be done soon and I can give my undivided attention to this group.

Luckily, we have been successfully dividing the work evenly and everyone has a very positive attitude about our project. This definitely makes a difference, and I am very grateful for the group I was placed in. Katie and Clara Ruth have been awesome group leaders and we all effectively communicate in our GroupChat. Additionally, we peer review each other’s assignments to check for maximum quality. We also try and get our assignments completed early so that we can start working on the next portion ahead of time and not drown in future assignments.

Having a team this amazing and with such a driven work ethic makes me even more excited for helping our client together. This will also hopefully give us a better sense of what working with professionals in the future will be like.

Initial Feelings (Blog Post 1 for GRM)

by Cassie Rodriguez


When I first signed up for Gender, Race and Media, I was so excited and thankful that I could finally take this class. Ever since I found out freshman year that our department even offers this class, I’ve always wanted to take it. However, as a recent transfer from the school of music, I wasn’t sure if my degree plan would allow for me to take more of the fun classes until later on. Or really, until my last year here. Upon finding out that GRM would be offered during a semester where it would actually fit in my schedule, I was overjoyed. And here is why.

This class and what we learn in this class are so much more important that we can even say. Especially now, when so much tension between races and genders exist, and the social climate of our nation is undergoing massive change. It is vital for us to not only be in tune with what is happening, but to also educate ourselves on the concepts of prejudice, stereotype and framing, all of which (and much more) we have covered in this class.


I walked into this course already knowing what I wanted to write about for my research paper. While I have never done a research paper of this volume before, I plan on doing my best to make my paper up to par. My topic is the sexualization of Hispanic women in media and what effects they have on younger media consumers and their views on these women. This is an issue that has been on my heart for quite some time, and I feel like it really needs to be looked at in greater detail.

It all started when I was looking for what defined a Latina and what defined a Hispanic woman, and more importantly what the difference is. This was maybe two years ago or so, but that was when I discovered the horror of simply searching that one word: Latina.

Latina. It has somehow become a dirty word, a filthy image. Latina. Just hearing the word can invite dirty thoughts nowadays. The meaning has evolved from a definitive term of proud heritage and feminine strength to something almost directly pornographic and explicit. I was appalled. Who said that this was okay? When did this happen? Why is this happening?

More importantly, how does this affect young women and how they view and value themselves? I feel like this is a very important discussion to be had, and I am very excited (but also nervous) to explore this topic in further detail. I also want to look at the positive aspects, and what is being done to stop negative views of Latinas and harmful stereotypes. Honestly, there is so much to be studied, but I have never felt like anything I have studied has been this important.





Asian Moms and their Stereotypes

Representations of Asians on YouTube and in media

by Cassandra Rodriguez

Asians moms, like all moms in general, are often caricatured and stereotyped in media, as we found out in chapter 6 of our textbook.

Moms have always been the center of most family drama and scrutiny, however, when that family happens to be Asian, the mom role takes on a whole new set of expectations and mannerisms that are otherwise foreign to non-Asian media consumers.

Tiger Mom

While there are many YouTube videos and Vines that poke fun at these stereotypes, many Asian Americans find that most of these stereotypes and exaggerations are based on a certain degree of truth– which is what makes them so entertaining.

While for non-Asians, these types of videos serve as comedic exposure to the realities of others, for Asians they serve as a way to laugh about how true these stereotypes are.

These videos above are part of a multi-video series created by the Fung Brothers about the many different things Asian parents say and do. I have watched all of these videos, and have found that Asian moms generally have the following characteristics:

  • Being very frugal with money (cheap, saves every bit of food and doesn’t use the AC)
  • Being very strict with their children in terms of academics and behaviors
  • Having high expectations for the future of their children’s (Doctor only mentality)
  • Being hypercritical of their children (physical appearance, friends, expecting perfection)

In the media, Asian women often fall under the Tiger Mom or China Doll stereotype, meaning that their characters are often either strict mothers or pretty faces, but not much else. Other times, they are given the Dragon Lady stereotype, as seen in these movie stills.

Dragon Lady

Hu_Li.jpg        ece5b5435a0b93ccf0ed2191702e7017.jpg

In movies, Asian women are hardly on the side of the protagonists. The Dragon Lady stereotype portrays Asian women as being highly skilled in martial arts, often as sexy villains who are dangerous but beautiful. Another thing to note is their general mannerisms- they are quiet, speaking little to no words, and often speaking in their native language when they do. They are cold, unfeeling, unkind and only have their own interests in mind. Hu Li from Rush Hour 2 is a great example of this stereotype. She is a spy on a mission to kill agent Carter and agent Lee, and does so by being manipulative, stealthy, and ruthless, often showcasing her mastering of martial arts.

Model Minority

Asians generally have the “model minority” label on them, as it is often portrayed in media that Asians study hard and make the best grades. Culturally, this stereotype can sound very positive, but can actually have negative effects on Asian children.

Vlcsnap-2013-09-10-10h30m17s31.png           Crouching_Trudy_Hidden_Penny_(2).jpg

With this model minority label, Asians can experience more pressure than other races to perform well academically and be perfect. This high expectation can cause them to question their worth if they perform less than flawlessly, and beat themselves up for underperformance in school and even in music skills or extra curricular activities. It can also result in them being disliked or outcast by their peers.

In The Proud Family, the Chang triplets are a perfect example of this stereotype. They are known as being the smartest kids in school, and are naturally gifted at everything. Penny and her friends consistently express their annoyance and dislike for the triplets. Their successes are often obnoxious and aggravating for the other kids. Sadly, as a result of this, the Chang triplets do not have any real friends, other than each other.

Asian Diversity 

Another problem in media is that Asians are often represented as a single nationality– often Chinese or Japanese. The “Asian” label lumps together dozens of different nationalities and cultures, when in fact they are all vastly different and unique from one another.


To simply categorize all of these countries and their cultures as a single, unified culture ignores the fact that Asians come in many different colors, sizes, backgrounds and faces.


It is important that we recognize these differences and educate ourselves on the diversity of Asian people. Asians represent a majority of the world’s population and 49+ different countries, and should not be culturally limited to a single or even a few stereotypes.

Too Sexy? Or Not Sexy Enough?

 By Cassie Rodriguez

“We want more actors of color in roles that don’t continue to perpetuate negative stereotypes.” – Gina Rodriguez

A few weeks ago, I was asked to research tweets pertaining to my topic of sexualization of Latinas in mass media. When searching #latina or just latina, many pornographic images popped up, which is truly disturbing and disappointing. This further proves that Latinas are ruthlessly oversexualized whether we like it or not.




When searching “latina stereotype,” many tweets showed outrage and disappointment over how Latinas continue to be stereotyped in the media and how often times, these stereotypes do not represent the Latina population as a whole.

The long-standing root of all problems when it comes to the misrepresentation of Latina/Hispanic women in media comes from archetypes and stereotypes often used in media. These stereotypes are often seen in one of three forms:

  • The old maid/abuela who can’t speak english (Consuela, Family Guy, Flor, Spanglish,  etc. ) In the 1980s, the long-used black housekeeper “Beulah” stereotype began to be replaced by elderly Latinas representing domestic workers. Late actress Lupe Ontiveros estimated that she played a maid over 150 times on television and other media. (race
  • The sex-crazed, submissive Coke bottle-shaped “take me now!seductress. This stereotype arguably proves most problematic due to the effects it has on the way Latina women are viewed and treated. The more we present Latinas as sex objects, the more Latina women find themselves objectified and unheard- not taken seriously as a result of the media’s idea that we are only good for one thing.
  • Spicy. Fiery. Temper, temper, temper. This stereotype enforces the idea that Latina women cannot control their anger, and have short fuses and are likely to make drastic, irrational decisions and definitely make a scene. This is very similar to the “ghetto” stereotype media and society has placed on African- American women when they are angry. I once had a friend who told me she almost felt like she “wasn’t allowed” to get angry in public without the accusation of her being ghetto. This is a feeling I started to encounter as I got older, late teens/early twenties. It sometimes feels like Latina women cannot get angry without immediately being written off as “irrational” and “crazy.” Oh, don’t take her seriously. She’s just spicy. You know how they are.

The main problem with these stereotypes (the second and third ones in particular) is the impact it can make on young Hispanic/Latina girls who view this media. What happens when a generation of girls are given the notion that they are expected to be sexy, perfect, submissive and dirty? This is a toxic environment that we are creating for our girls and it can really hurt them in the long run. Living with these expectations can often times lead to girls trying anything they can to speed their development, look more like adults and desperately seek acception by their peers. With this idea in mind, girls also give in to sex earlier because that is what they believe they are supposed to do. All of this inevitably will lead to the surrender of childhood, and growing up way too fast. What’s at stake is their self esteem and linking of their self-worth to their looks and more specifically, their sexiness. This means we could potentially create a generation of girls who lack self-confidence and devalue themselves if they don’t fit the mold.

Other Twitter reactions spoke words of encouragement to today’s Latina youth, and understood that the current model of Latina representation is potentially dangerous.




Solution? Yes please.

One of the best ways we can avoid the broad stereotyping and negative images of Latina women in media is by creating more inclusive roles for Latinas that have a much more dynamic range. Shows like Ugly Betty with America Ferrera and Jane the Virgin with Gina Rodriguez do a great job of putting Latinas in a positive light in the sense that these characters are NOT any of the stereotypes we are so used to seeing. We need to let young Latinas know that it is okay to be awkward. It is OKAY to be weird or like reading over makeup and yes, it is okay to say no. And it is okay to get angry. You are allowed to have feelings and you should never feel the need to fit some oversexualized idea America (and the world) seems to have about women of color. Hispanic/Latin heritage is something to be celebrated and proud of, and the day we can tell our girls that they are “Latina enough” just by being themselves is the day we can start building a better, more inclusive future.


More importantly, having positive roles in the media that are non-stereotypical opens up a world of better representation and opportunities for Latinas.

“The only thing separating women of color is opportunity.”- Viola Davis

#Latina #LatinaStereotypes #latinasinmedia

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