Playing With: Missing White Woman Syndrome
Basic Trope: The news covers the search for middle-to-upper class white women more than any other.
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- Straight: Alice goes missing, and the news covers her search. The same day, Maria goes missing, and the news mentions it in passing (or not at all).
- Exaggerated: No one, not even her immediate family, has any idea that Maria is missing and in danger. Everyone knows about Alice, however.
- Downplayed: Maria gets a reasonable amount of news coverage, but still not as much as Alice.
- The news media were only alerted about Alice's disappearance; for whatever reason(s), no one bothered to alert the media when Maria went missing.
- Alice is a very prominent member of the community, such as The President's Daughter; Maria is not.
- The news covers the search for Maria, but only mentions Alice's disappearance in passing (or not at all).
- The news covers the search for Bob, but barely mentions Miguel's disappearance. Or vice versa.
- The news covers the search for Alice, even though she is poor.
- And then the newscaster realizes that she mixed the pictures up: Alice was the Latina, not Maria. She continues the broadcast, focusing on Latina!Alice.
- Double Subverted:
- But she is still white, and still perceived as a "good" girl by mainstream society, which the media considers more "marketable".
- ...And when she finishes with Alice, she spends several hours on White!Maria.
- Parodied: When told Alice is missing, the first thing the reporters want to know is if she's a blonde white girl.
- Zig Zagged: Both Alice and Maria get roughly equal coverage, even though the producers are shown telling the reporters to focus on Alice. Then rumors that Maria might be dead start circulating, and attention abruptly moves to her. As soon as the rumors fade out, though, the reporters start talking only about Alice.
- The news coverage of Alice and Maria is equal.
- Both Alice and Maria are safe, present, and accounted for.
- Enforced: See "Double Subverted".
- Lampshaded: "A beautiful blonde woman went missing today..".
- Invoked: Maria is kidnapped thanks to knowing something she shouldn't. Alice was kidnapped as a cover to distract the media.
- The villain never kidnaps/kills young white girls, knowing that they get the most media coverage.
- The villain wants media coverage, so he only kidnaps/kills young white girls.
- Defied: The news anchor sees the stories about Maria and Alice, and refuses to let Alice's story hog the whole timeslot.
- Discussed: "I feel bad for Alice's family, but does anyone so much as mention Maria?"
- Conversed: "It's as if Maria doesn't matter, simply because she's not wealthy or white. So much for unbiased news coverage".
- Deconstructed: If more people knew about Maria's disappearance, they might have information that can be brought to law enforcement officials. It also (unfortunately) says to those who don't have the "right" skin color or live the "right" lifestyle in the "right" community that they don't matter.
- Played For Laughs: Alice and Maria walk down to the candy store without telling their parents. Said parents go to the police. The cops listen and take notes while acting sympathetically toward Alice's mom, but they forget what they were doing in the middle of questioning Maria's dad. The entire community goes into a panic over Alice and literally tear apart the neighborhood looking for her while Maria's dad walks home and sees Maria and Alice sitting on the couch watching cartoons. He calls Alice's mom to explain what happened... And gets arrested for kidnapping.
- Played For Drama: The increased news coverage leads to Alice being recovered alive, but Maria is killed... And Maria's community gets into an uproar.
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