Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blog assignment #1, part 1

After watching an episode of “Extreme Makeover” I couldn’t help, but be appalled at what I saw. The episode was one where the contest, a woman who had locked herself away in order to undergo a total transformation, was revealed to herself. A funny concept, isn’t it? Being revealed to ones self? You would think you would be the only person you would not have to reveal yourself to; unfortunately our society has taken an ugly turn in regards to what we value morally and as entertainment.
The episode I watched was the 5th episode of the 1st season. A 27-year-old woman named Sharon was the subject of the show. The wife and mother for three children talked about her poor self image and living in the shadow of her “much prettier” twin sister. To solve her physical inadequacies she underwent rhinoplasty, a chin implant, breast augmentation, and teeth whitened and straightened.

As if going through this process was not painful enough to watch the most unbearable part of the show is the reaction of the subjects’ family. A woman, barely resembling what she once was, in presented to her family. They all wait in anticipation of Sharon’s return and upon seeing her are so thrilled they are brought to tears by her beauty.

What messages do shows of this nature send to the viewers about the concepts of masculinity and femininity in popular media? What kinds of images does our society portray as beautiful. Young girls growing up are giving dolls to play with that portray the “ideal.” Although the image of Barbie was always a bad model for young girls, the idea of that model being attainable is even scarier. “… Barbie demonstrates that femininity is a manufactured reality. In entails a lot of artifice, a lot of clothes, a lot of props…” (Dines, 95)

Shows of the “Extreme Makeover” nature provide a vehicle for women to obtain this unnatural sense of beauty. Plastic surgery, impossibly toned bodies, big breasts, white teeth, and clear skin shape the definition of beauty in our culture. These shows promote images of women that epitomize this sense of femininity and show the reactions of their loved ones being pleased. These shows are more dangerous than the “Barbie image” little girls used to have, because our culture is now creating the opportunity to become real life Barbie Dolls.These shows put completely emphasis on the way women look- they need to be pretty, in shape, and fashionable. They need to be trimmed with all the right accessories and be willing to undergo what ever necessary to obtain this definition of femininity. After all beauty is pain, right Ladies?

Extreme Makeover images

work cited:
Dines, Gail and Humez, Jean M., eds. Gender, Race, and Class in Media. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2003. 95.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Approximately how much does it cost to have a nosejob?
I know that price will vary but I had my nose broken and need bridge work. Any ideas? Guestimate? Range?