Monica Lewinsky’s TED talk: w6

In Monica Lewinsky’s TED talk, she takes a completely different perspective on an infamous scandal the public is already familiar with. Most Americans only have an opinion on the Lewinsky scandal based on the media’s portrayal as well as Bill Clinton’s public addresses on his affair with Monica Lewinsky. However, in the TED talk, Monica Lewinsky gives her perspective on how the scandal directly shaped her life, and how the public shame brought upon by the media changed her as an individual. This interests me because it was not a side I had heard before, or even previously considered for that matter. I, along with a majority of the public, based our opinions on the Lewinsky scandal based on what we had viewed in the news. After watching this TED talk, though, I was able to develop a different opinion on the scandal as a result of being opened to a different point of view.

Another reason I was interested in this text is because of the style in which TED talks are structured. TED talks allow the author to have a significant amount of time on the TED stage, and they are able to talk about whatever they want, and present their speech in whatever style they want. Other TED talks I have viewed use PowerPoint slides, audience interaction, and props in order to get their message across and make their subject matter more appealing to the audience. The style of TED talks allows the author to approach their topic in virtually any way they please, and I have always found it interesting how different speakers choose to address their topics. I am intrigued by the creativity allowed from TED talks, and it specifically interested me how Monica Lewinsky chose to approach her topic of public shame.

The author, in this case Monica Lewinsky, had ultimate and free control of she wanted to structure her TED talk. Monica Lewinsky chose to start off the TED talk by informally addressing the audience, and politely suggesting that there is much more than meets the eye regarding her infamous scandal. She then attempts to connect with the audience by asking them if they have ever fallen in love with someone they should not have, and by doing so she makes herself more relatable and down to Earth. I really like the way she starts off her TED talk and approaches her topic because it was done in a very relatable fashion, and it allows her to connect deeper with the audience by putting the scandal in her perspective.

Monica Lewinsky then goes on to relay a personal story involving her parents, and their concern for her once the scandal broke out. I felt as though she revealed her true perspective on how the scandal affected her when she talked about how her parents made her shower with the door open. The media was being so harsh to her and there were numerous threats made to Lewinsky on the daily basis, that her parents were concerned the comments would bully her to death. Monica talked about this personal time and how it affected her, as well as her parents, very deeply. She talked about how her mother would lay in bed with her every night as she cried while listening to the news and reading the papers. I really liked this part of the TED talk because the audience was able to get a brand new perspective on the infamous scandal we all know so well. It made her seem like more of a real person, rather than a mere object the President of the United States had an affair with. She appealed to pathos by allowing the audience to step into her shoes, which I thought was a very interesting approach. Monica later went on to relay how the experience shaped her as an individual, and talk about the aftermath of public shame while bringing in current examples such as what happened to Rutgers student Tyler Clementi. I enjoyed this part of the talk because she was able to come full circle on the issue of public shame by discussing how her scandal affected her, as well as including how public shame continues to affect the lives of dozens of others today.

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