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

Banet-Weiser, Sarah and Portwood-Stacer, Laura (2006) ‘I just want to be me again!’ Beauty pageants, reality television and post-feminism. Feminist Theory, 7 (2). pp. 255-272. ISSN 1464-7001

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1464700106064423


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.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2006 SAGE Publications
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2018 15:47
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2024 00:15

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