‘I just want to be me again!’: Beauty pageants, reality television and post-feminism

Title: ‘I just want to be me again!’: Beauty pageants, reality television and post-feminism

Year: 2006

Journal / Publication: Feminist Theory

Volume: 7

Issue: 2

Pages: 255 – 272

Authors:

Banet-Weiser, Sarah

Portwood-Stacer, Laura

Abstract:

This essay examines the connections between the Miss America pageant and reality makeover television shows. We argue that televised performances of gender have shifted focus from the intensely scripted, out-of-touch Miss America to reality makeover shows that normalize cosmetic surgery as a means to become the ‘ideal’ woman. While both spectacles offer their viewers performances of femininity, these performances need to be understood as emerging from the cultural and political conditions in which they are produced. This difference in presentation of the subjects of beauty pageants and makeover programmes speaks respectively to the changing role of media in the normalization of performances of femininity, as well as to the affiliation of many young women with post-feminist politics in the United States.

Link: http://fty.sagepub.com/content/7/2/255.abstract

Keywords:

Beauty Pageant

Makeover Shows

Post-Feminism

Reality Television