Cultural Sensitivity

Image result for controversial burger king ad
Burger King Ad in New Zealand
Image result for kimaya kothrud mcdonalds ad
Mcdonald’s Ad in South India







  • What values are being conveyed?For the Mcdonalds Ad from India: In Indian culture fair skin is seen as being beautiful and there are many soaps and facial scrubs that are advertised for helping you get fair skin for example “Fair and Lovely” for women and “Fair and Handsome” for men. I don’t think this ad is directly playing into that perspective but it is understandable why some people may feel offended. I think the main purpose of this ad was to convey the Ronald Mcdonald mascot but it’s still unclear as to why they chose a baby.The Burger King Ad from New Zealand: Burger King is advertising a new Vietnamese sweet chili Burger and the ad shows people trying to eat the burger with giant red chopsticks. The ad doesn’t portray any values specifically but it relates to Asian people who eat food with chopsticks. There was a big outrage and Burger King had to take down the advertisement.
  • How are these values shared with their target audience?Mcdonalds Ad in India: As this is in South India, the values there are mainly focused on beauty and again that view that the fairer you are, the more beautiful. This does relate to their target audience as I am from South India and although I don’t believe in that view, I have seen many people who buy products to become fairer or want that feature. Burger King Ad: This ad comes from New Zealand so I don’t really understand what their target audience could share with this ad. Although some may see it as a crass form of humor.
  • Are certain stereotypes conveyed in any of the ads?Mcdonalds Ad: I don’t think any Indian stereotypes can be seen in this ad and when I first saw the image I didn’t realize it was from India.Burger King: I think there is a big stereotype of Asians in this ad as they are using chopsticks to eat the burger, although it makes no sense and the only reason for the chopsticks is because it’s a Vietnamese flavor. The biggest problem people had with the ad was that they were using chopsticks on the sole stereotype that the burger has an Asian flavour although chopsticks are used for asian foods.


Can texts ever be truly representative of groups of people?

I don’t think any medium can ever truly represent a group of people and have everyone be happy about it as everyone has a different perspective on their culture or race. For example, Crazy Rich Asians, I felt it did represent the crazy rich side of Singapore very well and as that was the title I didn’t expect it to go any farther. However, some people were angry that it didn’t showcase some of the other people of Singapore such as the middle class. I think it was able to provide a good amount of Asian representation in film and more Asians can see themselves in these actors. It also didn’t feel too forced or like it had an agenda as it followed a pretty basic storyline and just focused on the love story between the two main characters. I don’t think it’s the author or filmmakers duty to represent every single culture in what they choose to write as they are telling their own stories about what they know. For example, Toni Morrison was asked by an interview if she would include any white characters in her work and Morrison replied saying “you can’t understand how powerfully racist that question is, can you?” However you could say that if a white author were asked that question and replied in that way, they would face a lot of backlash and criticism.

‘Who Owns Culture?’

Cultural appropriation is a relatively new term but is something that has been going on for generations. In my perspective, cultural appropriation is when you are no longer representing that culture for what it is, but if you’re making fun of it or making harmful stereotypes then it’s crossing a line. I think for example Katy Perry dressing as a Geisha for one of her performances isn’t appropriating the culture as Perry wasn’t doing it to be spiteful or mean, but to show that culture. When interviewed many Japanese people were actually pleased that their culture is being shown on stage. I think the purpose for wearing cultural clothing plays a big part in whether it’s going too far or not as it creates more of a divide to not allow people from different cultures to celebrate each other. I think a good example of what is cultural appropriation could be Kim Kardashian’s shapewear line. When the influencer announced on instagram the brand of her undergarment line would be ‘Kimono’, it sparked an uproar as people were offended at how easily she was able to take that part of Japanese culture and make it something completely different. From what I know, a Kimono in Japanese culture is very special as it represents the heritage in Japan. For Kim Kardashian to take the name and use it for an underwear line, just because it happens to include her name portrays a very ignorant message from her and her team. She then went on to try to copyright the word which didn’t work. Culture is something that brings people together but also separates people at it’s worst moments, but it can be a great thing for everyone to share.

Math and me

My name is Rachna and previously I did IGCSE mathematics. Maths was never my best subject and I found it challenging over the years. Last year I managed to get a hold of my learning in math and study it much better. I feel confident starting this course as it is something I chose and should be more suited towards my strengths. On the continuum, I would put myself right in the middle as I like to work things out at the beginning and if I’m not able to figure it out I would ask for help. Normally if I’m feeling stuck I would ask the people around me how they got to where they were in the question and write down their steps so I could remember it later. I think the biggest area for me to work on is staying organized, especially with IB I need to learn how to organize my time as well as belongings.

Social Media linked with Self esteem

In a survey of around 1,500 teens and young adults, while Instagram did get points for self-expression and self-identity, it’s also highly associated with levels of anxiety, depression, and bullying. Youtube, however, out of 5 social media services, received the highest marks for mental health and wellbeing. However, all the services got low points for sleep quality which I find interesting, previous studies have also suggested people who use social media more than 2 hours a day are more likely to feel psychological distress.

Do You Get Enough Sleep?

An additional perspective you may want to consider is the perspective of schools or colleges, while a 90-minute nap may be useful for teenagers it isn’t the most practical if you look at it from the school’s perspective. A school’s main job is to educate their students and it can be hard to do that while needing to add a 90-minute nap time halfway through the school day.

Never Give Up

Imagine having everything going in your life, a successful job that you love doing, family, friends. Christina Lau was an active, independent, and, enthusiastic office guard who lived her life to the fullest. One day, her life was flipped upside down due to a car accident on a road trip to Malaysia in 2005. She woke up in the hospital not being able to remember anything that happened just realizing the horror that she couldn’t feel her lower body. She thought she would be okay, but soon it hit her that she would be paralyzed for the rest of her life. She fell into a deep unrelenting depression. She had no aims, no goals for the future. She kept putting herself down over and over, thinking she was a burden to everyone despite the fact that she had a lot of support and love from her parents and friends. She struggled with her depression mentally and recovery physically, having to learn how to do everything again ‘like a baby’. She found it very hard to sustain the will to live, and the one thing that kept her going was that if she died her family and friends would have to bear the loss.

One fateful day, in 2012, she discovered the many others who are talented, and have a huge passion for mouth painting and decided to join. Prior to the accident, she had no experience in painting whatsoever but was definitely able to really throw herself into the artwork. Her favorite things to paint are flowers and landscapes inspired by just going outside and seeing the world around her. She not only had a love for painting but also found a passion for table tennis. She played in the Indonesia Para Table Tennis Opens in 2016. She is a very skilled and successful mouth painter today and has many open views on people with disabilities. She presents herself as a very cheerful, happy person and is able to make everyone smile and definitely be inspired by her story.

If you compare the Christina Lau now to her previous self, you can see that she has gone through some extremely tough times like struggling with depression and surviving for her family. But she has definitely overcome those times and it has made her much stronger now. Her opinion on disabled people has also changed as she said that prior to the incident she thought they ‘needed a lot of help’. But now she realizes that they are more than capable of managing themselves and unless they ask, there is no need of fussing around them too much; just let them be.

Christina’s life story is extremely inspiring as she was able to completely change her way of thinking and really find something purposeful to do with her life. In doing so, she was able to inspire so many others by giving talks to children and other organizations. She truly is both the victim and the hero of her life story. It shows you that maybe there’s a silver lining to dark situations, just because something terrible has happened to you doesn’t mean that you have to lose yourself you may even find a new version of yourself. Christina Lau saw that when she chose to start painting and playing table tennis discovering two major passions, maybe if the accident hadn’t occurred she would have never learned to paint, maybe she would have lived out her old life as a prison guard never even thinking of painting, it’s safe to say that her life experience is one that is truly inspirational.






Cape, Flying. “Christina Lau, Mouth Artist and Re-Inventor – Flying Cape High Flier Series.”Flying Cape’s Blog,


Inspirational Christina Lau

Christina Lau shared her sad yet hopeful story of how she decided to start mouth painting. Going from a healthy happy police guard to being paralyzed from the chest down.

Looking back I came up with a few more questions that I should have asked at the time.

Question 1: What made you turn to painting instead of something else?

Question 2: Do you think you would have ever considered painting before the accident?

Question 3: How did the accident affect your relationship with friends that you had made while being a police officer?

Question 4: If you could tell your self who had just had the accident one thing what would you tell her?

Question 5: Do you think if you met your previous self now that you would get along?

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