Media Representation of New Zealand Males

Woman in the media have been a main focus we have tried to fix for generations but we’ve never pay the same amount of attention for the stereotypes we give males on these same platforms. For New Zealand the representation we give males in the media is a constant issue for the kiwi identity. Our society expects these males to have the understanding mind of fixing something themselves to becoming a daily beer drinker. With these number of stereotypes the media represents of New Zealand males its put pressure on their identity making it seem expected that if they don’t follow societies idea of a typical ‘kiwi bloke’ they don’t belong to idea of what it is to be a kiwi. For years this has been an issue in New Zealand and we are only just starting to pay attention on the ramifications and impacts its bringing towards males.

So what is a typical kiwi bloke?

Since the early 30’s in New Zealand the media has taken advantage in creating an ideal image of a kiwi male. From their choice of clothing and preferred attitude, even the choice of careers kiwi males are expected to choose had been a constantly been represented in some form of media. Otago University did a study of the flawed idea of masculinity in New Zealand stating that the first known influence of masculinity for men began before the 19th century when the first Pakeha settled on the land. That means that for more than 100 years men have been influenced to reach a certain level of masculinity before it became sociable acceptable.

But the idea of a real ‘kiwi man’ wasn’t as big as it is today. This is due to the media. Through advertisements and films, media has taken advantage in constructing the kiwi identity of a man. The idea that a man should know how to use a tool or be able to fix anything because it’s in their ‘DNA’ has been widely pressured throughout New Zealand males. An article ‘Manifesto’ written by Lee Suckling states ‘DIY is so deep-rooted in the Kiwi male psyche that it’s impossible to live in this country, own a home and not be somewhat handy.’. This is true, and with the help of the media these stereotypes for New Zealand men are growing more putting more pressure on them. So how do they create this?

An advertisement produced by Mitre 10 called ‘sandpit’ demonstrates a good example of how the kiwi male identity is looked at. The advertisement focuses on creating the idea that every ‘kiwi bloke’ should know how to build something himself rather than going to get help from someone else. 

Though the advertisement is comedically acted by kids, it represents the stereotypes of kiwi males and the idea of how males should be expected to build and use tools themselves, being a labelled ‘local handy-man’. A noticeable quote we see in Mitre 10’s advertisement is when one of the kids quotes to another, ‘Oh come on mate, do it yourself’. This quotes itself looks into the fact that New Zealand male identity have been pressured on what they should already know. At the end of the advertisement Mitre 10 states ‘DIY it’s in our DNA’. This shows the stereotype of kiwi males and what they should already be, it shows that the idea of males being a handy man because it’s in their nature has become so overly used that its almost frowned upon if you can’t fix something yourself.

Another example of a kiwi male identity being represented through media is shown in the movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople directed by Taika Waititi.


The movie portrays a young Moari kid who is dropped off at a new foster home in the middle of nowhere, belonging to a couple Bella and Hec. Hec is describe as a middle-aged man who is known to be tough, teaching Ricky (the foster kid) the ways of how to hunt and use a gun. Already we see the representation of kiwi males, showing that having a tough or stern ‘attitude’. Through both examples we see of common appearance that these ideal stereotypes of a kiwi male is to able to use your hands. From doing anything yourself, whether it be building something yourself to hunting we see the little options males are given when it comes to the kiwi identity.

The purpose of these representation of kiwi identity in the media is to show New Zealand males how they should act. The companies such as Mitre 10 use these representations of the kiwi male identity to create a profit by the products they sell. Want to be considered a man? Buy a tool from us to show that you are considered a kiwi man. Another advertisement that represents the kiwi male identity is produced by ‘old spice’ demonstrating the idea that buying their product will get you anything in life. The advertisement shows an ideal looking kiwi male using Old Spice body wash, stating ‘We’re not saying this body wash will make your man smell like a romantic millionaire jet fighter pilot, but we are insinuating it.’. 

Although the advertisement is shown for male audiences the way they’ve filmed it captures the attention of females in showing that their man should look and smell like this once they use ‘old spice’.  These New Zealand companies take advantage of the stereotypes of kiwi males in creating an advertisement for their product claiming that if they use they’re product you become the ideal kiwi man. Because of these representations of kiwi males throughout the media it encourages kiwi’s to be these stereotypes because if not are they really considered a typical ‘kiwi bloke’ in the eyes of society?

From all this influence pressured onto NZ males its created an impact in shaping the kiwi male identity. With the media putting immense pressure of males with advertisements from building companies such as Mitre 10 and Bunnings Warehouse, teaching men that should be able to fix anything with a tool, to companies like Old Spice showing how a man should smell and present himself. All these aspects of how a male should act is creating a false identify for males all around New Zealand.

But through the amount of representations New Zealand males are given throughout the media it’s starting to create an affect on these males, including suicide. The suicide rates in New Zealand has risen up in the past 3 years with the ratio of three to one of male to female suicide rates. Especially around the ages of 14 to 24 the suicide rates were becoming higher between males and Maori. Auckland psychotherapist Kyle MacDonald states, “I think the reality is we do have this approach – particularly with boys, [as] I think there is a gender difference with parenting – of ‘Don’t cry, toughen up, get over it’. We expect our young to be tough and unfortunately that means we don’t let them be vulnerable.”

The way males are represented in the media in New Zealand can cause a harmful impact on the identity of a kiwi. All these stereotypes we see throughout advertisements and film help bring this idea that kiwi males should aspire to be like this into reality. Though the media has created these represenations of a kiwi male for years, the more attention we bring to it today the more likely it will stop in the future. 



Gender Theory – Danish Girl


In 1981, Sandra Ben introduced the gender theory and how individuals are represented in gender throughout society. The characteristic we pick that are maintained and transmitted towards other cultures, intimidating gender-like behaviours, observing the gender identities and how they develop them. Where females should do they smaller job while men do the larger jobs providing for their family. Three aspects in this theory that are important to me are hypermasculinity, objectification and gender roles.


 Hypermasculinity refers to the beliefs of how men should act, claims it is the “belief that in order to be a man you must in no way resemble a woman; being even remotely feminine strips you entirely of your masculinity.” Like hypermasculinity, objectification is the degrading of someone status or gender in this case which has now become a subconscious habit in society today. It’s the idea that a person is more based as an object rather than focuses on their personality or interests. For gender roles it focuses on the social ideas of how each gender should be portrayed throughout society, where woman should be given the small jobs of housework and looking after children where as men should be given the bigger job to help provide their families.


For my chosen film The Danish girl directed by Tom Hopper in 2015 its shows the journey of Einar changing to a woman called Lili after discovering that his true self of being a woman. We watch Einar grow from a man to a girl named Lili after under-going the first known sex-change operation in the mid 1920’s. This film reflects the gender theory because see how Einar grew up learning the idea of how society interprets masculinity. The idea that men can’t be seen with wearing make-up or dresses, that only Pants belonged on a man. But the idea of masculinity through the gender theory doesn’t have to be through visual ideas it can be based through a persons attitude and interests as well.



There is one scene that stuck out for me that describe the gender theory, focusing on hypermasculinity. The scene introduces Einar’s first experience of trying on ‘feminine’ clothing. Einar agrees to help his wife Gerda in finishing off her painting as her original model is late. Einar is told to put on a pair of nude stockings next to the painting so Gerda could get the right angle of the legs.

Not agreeing with Einar just having the stockings she decides to give him the dress in which Einar’s response is, “No Gerda, I’m not putting it on.” This quote alone describes hypermasculinity in Gender Theory. Although Einar has only just began to feel is belief of being a woman, we see his mind still tricked on the belief that a male figure should never be seen wearing anything feminine or else it would ruin his status of being masculine.


The second scene I choose that represent the gender theory is Einar’s internal struggle of fighting to become a woman later in the film. After taking an interest in feminine clothing, Einar begins to wear little pieces of clothing daily and even makes a public appearance as ‘Lili’. We see Einar struggle in his male body after he takes more interest being female than a male, feeling uncomfortable to which he leaves his house to the back of a local theatre, in a closet room where a collection of dresses are lined up coming across a full length mirror. We see Einar undress himself till he’s naked trying to turn his male body feminine by pushing is arms together to form breasts and tucking away him genitals.

The reason I choose this was because it shows it’s the first scene where we see Einar fully uncomfortable with his body being male. We finally understand that Einar wants to become female but becoming hesitant because of societies beliefs of masculinity.  This scene represents the gender theory because Einar’s hesitation to becoming a woman, feeling as though society’s beliefs of masculinity would leave him judged and hated if he carried on with what he believed.  

In conclusion the gender theory is constantly represented throughout the film The Danish Girl as we watch Einar struggle from being a man to changing to a woman. Aspects of hypermasculinity, objectification and gender roles in gender theory help relate to the story of Einar.


Historical Theory – Danish Girl

Historical theory focuses on historical events and their connections throughout society and constructing the past into how they benefit or change today. Uio ( asks, “is the past a given quantity that historians should describe as realistically as possible or is the writing of history a matter of constructing a past that only exists in the form of languages and representational images?” I found this quote interesting because it describes the way history is formed either through language and images and aren’t only told through writing but also visual history and how we treat it to benefit us further on. Our history is constructed down in numerous sections, mainly language and culture. Three aspects that help further detail historical theory in the film The Danish Girl were the social changes, political changes and the changes in medical advances that eventually became beneficial for us today.

Social changes are the long term affects of change that happen over time whether it be through cultural values or behavioural patterns whereas Political changes focuses on the rules people have voted or decided on and whose power overalls another. The last aspect I choose was the medical advances they had that eventually became beneficial for us today, the reason for this is because medical advice was not advance back in the 1920’s.

In the film The Danish Girl directed by Tom Hopper in 2015, it portrays a story a young man Einar trying to figure out the reason for his sudden change that he is a woman. We see him try to find hope in why he feels this way, visiting numerous doctors in hope of an explanation, eventually concluding that he was really a she only born in the wrong body. Although in the mid 1920’s people didn’t have advanced knowledge of medications and developing explanations for the causes of some diseases Einar/Lili tries desperately to find a reason.

The Danish Girl reveals the Historical theory through it’s history of sex-change and it’s new understanding to transgender. One scene that stuck out for me was one of the last doctor visits Lili went to. In the 1920’s advice about transgender from 1920-1930 was extremely rare, having on a little insight on sex change. This theory reflected through the film The Danish Girl in the scene Lil, once Einar, consulted with a doctor for the last time. After numerous attempts of trying to find a psychologist that would help him find a cure or at least and explanation of what was wrong with him, Einar had one last hope with after a close friend’s recommendation of visiting Dr Kurt Warnekros.

The scene takes place at a café as Einar/Lili sits with his wife Gerda across from Dr Warnekros, Warnekros believes that Einar/Lili in right in believing he is a woman as he’s experience several other people with the issue. He states that he can help Einar change into a woman (Lili) through two separate operations, the first sex-change operation of a vaginoplasty. This scenes reflects the historical theory as Einar/Lili will undergo the first known sex-change operation going from a man to a woman which would become history and helping other cases of people wanting to change and improving the operation.

The second scene I choose was where Einar/Lili got attacked by two French men before his operation. The reason I choose this scene is because it describes the historical theory of social and political changes through the 1920’s and how people’s beliefs, cultures and understandings were treated. As Einar/Lili takes a walk around a park two French men follow him teasing him on whether he was a boy or girl having either a vagina or penis. Get infuriated with their words Einar/Lili punch one of the French men or start a fight.

To me this scene is important because it states how people who weren’t heterosexual weren’t accepted in society, for Einar/Lili’s case being transgender wasn’t accepted in society, people didn’t understand the full reason of why they thought they were another gender which resulted in controversy. Transgender in the 1920’s was rarely heard off making them unliked throughout society, unlike today in the late 2010’s more research and explanations of transgenders and other sexualities have brought a more wider spectacle helping people understand their ways making it more acceptable in society.

In conclusion, the historicsl theory is shown through The Danish Girl in three different aspects of social changes, political changes and the mediacal adavances they had they would benefit us today. It’s shown through Einar’s struggles of becoming a woman, and the low medical knowledge they had on his condition. Overall, we get an insight og the historical view of transgender and how it had advanced today


Essay 2 Run Lola Run

Run Lola Run (1998) directed by Tom Tykwer, uses different narrative features throughout the film in helping develop the idea that time is in control when you’re against reality. Through conflict, the struggling choices and problems characters face throughout their journey, we watch Lola have conflict with time as she tries to save her boyfriend Manni. Tracking shot is used along with non-diegetic sounds to help further understand Lola’s conflict with time. As tracking shot follows Lola running to Manni from many different angles, non-deigetic sound (music) is used to create the effect of time following her. At some points the mood of the music would be up beat and fast, whereas at some points it would slow down. This reflects not only time but also her thoughts of how much time she has left.

The purpose of this is to indicate that Lola is fighting against time in order to save Manni, it shows us that time can be your enemy especially in life-threatening situations. This is important because the conflict shows that Lola’s full attention is on the fact that she needs to save Manni no matter how little time she has, she almost tries to beat time itself. This explains to us that Lola is a strong character who will fight against anything to save the one’s she loves.

In Exposition, giving an idea of the background story between a character, setting or event, it also develops the main idea that is time is in control when you’re against reality. The exposition in Run Lola Run is once Manni hangs up the phone and Lola only has a short amount of time to figure out how to save Manni, we watch her think through certain people who can help her all while looking at a clock. Editing pace is used to speed up the short cuts between Lola and her surrounding objects along with people’s faces to show that she is trying to find a way that will save him. The fast cuts tell the audience that Lola is under pressure as she only has a small amount of time to think of something. Non-diegetic sounds creates a mood in the scene as fast pace music is heard only with the whispering of each persons name that Lola thinks of. All these fast motions contribute to time.

The purpose of this is that Lola is using her time wisely as she only has 20 minutes to save Manni. It creates pressure not only on Lola but the also the audience so they feel as though they’re with her. We watch her think fast and quickly to create a plan to save Manni which is important to us because it explains that Lola is determined to fight against time to save Manni no matter the punishment or ending result.

Overall, through exposition and conflict we are taught the idea that time is in control when you’re against reality. We are shown this through Lola’s determination of saving Manni under a short time. This explains to us that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and that time itself can be your enemy at the worst of times.




Essay 1 Pan’s Labyrinth

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), directed by Guillermo Del Toro, shows numerous narrative features that develop the idea that time is in control when you’re against reality. Conflict is a main feature shown in Pan’s Labyrinth, it shows the struggling choices and problems characters face through either other characters, the environment or in this case time and reality. We watch Ofelia fight against is her imagination between reality and fantasy, struggling to get back home to her ‘real family’ in the Underworld rather than her actual family with her mother and Captain Vidal. As time slowly runs out for Ofelia, Vidal is on the hunt to kill her and get Ofelia’s baby brother back. Through transition cuts we watch as Captain Vidal finds Ofelia who is suppose to be talking to the Faun, but seen through three transitions we figure out Vidal can’t see the Faun once he looks over to Ofelia. It seems as though she’s talking to only herself.

This explains that the Faun and fairy are part of Ofelia’s imagination and aren’t part of her reality, making them unreal. The purpose of this is to explain to the audience that Ofelia’s conflict with her imagination on whether to sacrifice herself in order to get back ‘home’ in the Underworld has led her to her own death over time. This development of the story is important because it creates a visual understanding that Ofelia’s love for fairy tales has ultimately taken over her life and changed her perspective, even if was to keep herself distracted while staying with Captain Vidal who she doesn’t feel safe with. We watch that time slowly controls Ofelia’s direction as it leads her to a dead-end which is her death.

For exposition it gives an idea of the background story between a character, setting or event, it introduces the main idea which for us is that time is in control when you’re against reality. When Ofelia’s heavily pregnant and sick mother stops their ride from feeling ill, Ofelia finds a broken piece of stone with the carving of an eye along the path. Finding a hidden statue, Ofelia perfectly fits the broken piece of stone into the statue in which a stick insect shows itself and Ofelia believes is a fairy. This indicates to the audience that she is mixing her unreal reality into her actual reality. Diegetic sound is used in relation to the exposition especially when Ofelia’s mother quotes “Why did you bring so much books, Ofelia. We’re going to the country, the outdoors.”. This exposition shows us that Ofelia is in danger with her imagination.

This indicates to us that through Ofelia’s love of books and fairy tales she’s mixing them in with her reality. This is because she realizes that she doesn’t belong with Captain Vidal and creates the idea that she has another family in the Underworld she has forgotten about. Its purpose is to show us that Ofelia doesn’t feel safe or comfortable living with Captain Vidal and with the choices he makes.

Overall, through the two narrative features of exposition and conflict, we learn that the main purpose and idea of the film is that time is in control when you’re against reality. It looks at the confusing struggles on real versus non-real and teaches us that our mind will do anything to make us feel safe in a place we are not. We see this through Ofelia’s discomfort living with Captain Vidal and seeks safety through the Underworld where her other family is.






Entry 5

What are binary opposites in narrative theory? Research and define the theory with reference to audience interpretation and implications.

Binary Opposites are a pair of related terms that are opposite to each other, in narrative theory they can be used on two main characters that are opposed to each other. They are both similar yet with different appearances or ambitions. In relation to audience interpretation and implications the theory creates a conflicting plot between both binary opposites that explain both relations between them and an indication of the outcome that could happen.

Entry 4

Select 2 narrative features from the task resource/appendix sheet. Describe each element and detail the effect of each element on the narrative.

Exposition is ideally the start of the film where the idea or theme is introduced to the audience. In Pan’s Labyrinth we are shown through exposition through the young girl Ofelia travelling with her sick mother along a lonely road, after the mother pulls over feeling ill Ofelia wonders off to find a statue. We understand this is the exposition because we see Ofelia placing a broken piece of the statue which fits into the eye. This indicates to the audience that Ofelia see’s that she doesn’t belong here especially with Captain Vidal and wants to find her ‘real family’. Ofelia is introduced to a small fairy who ultimately changes her life on from then.
Through Run Lola Run, our exposition is the phone call Lola has with Manni. Through every journey of her trying to save Manni and failing, she restarts all over again and it always begins with the phone call to Manni telling him that she is coming to save her.

Eternal conflict is a conflict a character has from the outside between another character, their surrounding environment or with society. In Pan’s Labyrinth, the external conflict is Ofelia having conflict on reality, fighting with her imagination to sacrifice and get back ‘home’. During the movie we watch you have conflict between the reality of Captain Vidal and her dying mother or her forgotten family she escaped from. In Run Lola Run, Lola’s conflict is time in saving Manni. She has 20 minutes in order to get to Manni with the money he needs, but she struggles with people and objects getting in her way.



Entry 3

Each film’s plot in under 100 words


Run Lola Run.

We get introduced to the character Lola who faces a series of challenges and events that lead up to her saving her boyfriend Manni who might supposedly get killed if he doesn’t hand in the right amount of money. Which is $100,000. After running past numerous people, in which we get a glance at what they’re future will be like from they’re interaction with Lola, Lola is faced with a got shot in her body. Waking up she sits in the same situation at the start and gets another chance at saving Manni this time having an idea of what to change. But she fails. On her final run she finally gets everything right and Manni is saved along with a bit of extra cash. $100,000.

Pan’s Labyrinth.

We learn about a young princess named Moana who left her life to become mortal. Later on we are introduced to a young girl named Ofelia who travels with her sick and pregnant mother to stay with Captain Vidal. Discovering a fairy, Ofelia is pulled into the world in which she believes she’s the missing princess. Meeting Faun, Ofelia follows three tasks to get back home all while her mother gets worse and the rebels outside the land try claim it back. On Ofelia’s final task, she sacrificed herself and is killed by the Captain. In the end we find out she has returned back to her home and is finally princess again



Entry 2

What is conflict? How is it important to character and narritive development? What conflicts are there? AND which ones are presented in the film?

Conflict is the complications and struggles that usually lead to a disagreement, they challenge the characters into choosing a choice that’s right for them. Conflict is impotant for the development of characters and narritive because it essentially gives meaning to the plot. We see how the character acts and resolves the conflict which contribute to how we think of them.

In Run Lola Run the conflict for Lola is Man vs self. She is conflict between the decisons she makes and we see that through the many replays of trying to save Manni. Each run is different and gets gets slightly better in achieving her goal of saving her boyfriend.

Entry 1 | Tom Tykwer’s Use Of Aspects

How does Tom Tykwer use narritive conventions to develop through aspects like mise-en-scene, visual elements, music, dialogue and manilpulation of time (Flashback, flashforward)?

Tom Tykwer’s narritive conventions uses other elements to help devlop the the story further. The feature costume is used along with the narrative conventions to give a more depth understanding of what the character’s personality are like. They give an insight of what the characters past or future may be like and create the sense of what era of time and living conditions the characters live in. An example of this would be during most of the running sences with Lola we see that her clothes are almost combat like clothes, we especially get shown her red hair which we recognise her from. This costume represents the typical trend of fashion during the 1990’s – 2000, which illustrates to the audience that Lola is seen as your typical young adult. But narritive conventions pull the idea/theme of fighting against time and give a wider idea that Lola could idealy be part of a video game, which the cosume can be identically simliar as well for a typical female video game character.


With mise-en-scene Tom Tykwer uses to this to his advantage by giving away small hints and clues of what struggles Lola will face and if she has a chance of saving Manni in the future. They give a sense of the audience playing alongside Lola as if it were like a video game. We also see that Tykwer sneakily combines mise-en-scen along with manipulation of time with the narrative structure to combust a jam-packed scene that later adds up to Lola’s mistakes through her run to save Manni. The mise-en-scen strategically placed each of upcoming mistakes in plain view and the manipulation of time was later explained for the reason of her mistake.


The music used in the film along with the narrative structure never really changed but that’s what gave the impression of everything happening again when in reality it was at the same place but at a different time. With the constant repeat of the song it seemed as though nothing had changed but yet everything had gone back to the start and was repeating itself.

Though the point of the movie was to focus on your surroundings and what they may hint to, dialogue wasn’t a big deal in the film Run Lola Run. Tykwer used the aspect dialogue carefully throughout each character. We see this when Lola keeps running into different people they would all say a certain line they would eventually hint to what their future would turn out like.

Overall, we see that Tykwer used narrtive structure wiseing to devlop the the aspects of costume, visual elements, dialogue, music and manipulation of time. This was showen in one of his films Run Lola Run, proving that all these aspects help devlop the characters more and create a deapth understanding of the films idea.