Reading Response #4

There’s A Beautiful Girl Under All Of This

Is life really all about looks? Reading the article There’s a Beautiful Girl Under All Of This: Performing Hegemonic Femininity in Reality Television by Alice Marwick which was published on July 23, 2010 was really interesting.  I know this article is directed towards women more, but I think men can also relate to this article which made it an awesome read for me. It relates towards men I think because as women try to be pretty and men are more driven to be big and muscular. The media really tries to influence people to try and look perfect but that’s not always the case. I chose this particular article because in this day and age people are so worried about looks influenced by media such as, TV and social media apps like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook that sometimes it can get out of hand. It all comes down to media and what people see or want to be like. Some people are never satisfied on how they look even if they are already good looking. It is amazing how much the media can have such a big impact on some people and that is why I chose this article. Like I said before the article talks about how the media influences people, but it also goes over the reality TV show called “The Swan.” On the reality TV show “The Swan,” the show brings in girls to make them look beautiful with very expensive surgeries and makeovers. The first show aired in 2004. The idea of this show is to change the outside to make the inside feel good too. The article also covers other common feminine related activity such as body work, plastic surgery and makeovers.

One big idea from this article was how the media influences body work and plastic surgery. People see how they want to look through the media and go through life changing procedures that they may not even need, especially women. A piece from this article that caught my eye was the 68% increase of people getting plastic or cosmetic surgery from 2000 to 2007 and 91% of those people turned out to be women. Makeup is accepted everywhere but plastic surgery is still frowned upon. I should not say frowned upon, but people do not like to admit if they have got plastic surgery. They like to make people think that this is naturally the way they are. Celebrities even try to hide the fact that some of them get plastic surgeries even though it can be quite obvious. As time is moving on though, plastic surgeries are starting to become more socially accepted. When a women gets a plastic surgery they see themselves as ugly and needing improvement. When people get plastic surgery, it makes them look good on the outside to make them feel good on the inside.

This particular idea stuck with me because I found it amazing how many people get surgeries done to their body because they care so much about how they look. It is unbelievable how much popular these surgeries have gotten from a span of 7 years. I could not imagine how much higher the percentage and popularity has gone up for plastic surgeries and body work since 2007 to now 2018.

You could use the ideas from this article to help you realize how powerful the media can be and the world kids and adults are growing up in. Media can pursue how people view themselves and how it may reflect on their actions. From this article realizing that body changes and plastic surgeries are becoming more common and to be aware that I may come across a teen or another person that may have had a procedure done to them. Respecting and accepting the changes people do to their body will help me grow professionally and help me be a better teacher.

Something that puzzled me when I was reading was the financial situation some people must face when going through these surgeries to make them look perfect. Obviously celebrities can afford the cost but, there probably are some people out there who care so much about their looks that they don’t think about the financial situation they are in and may not be able to afford it. These surgeries are not cheap. I know this is not necessarily about the article but it is just something I have always wondered about. Plastic surgeries usually have a positive impact on the person that gets it. As I have been saying, the look on the outside makes the person feel better on the inside. Ultimately, it is the persons decision that gets it. If it makes them happy they are going to do it. Plastic surgery is life changing and once you get one you will not go back to being the same. How I would teach this topic in class is have my students look at popular celebrity magazines and have them analyze what they see in the different celebrities like body types and facial features and have them discuss in groups what they think is real or if someone has altered their body. After discussing what they have seen in their groups I would have them tell me what they think. When we have completed the discussion on what they think I would have them right a paragraph on why they think people get permanent body changes.

There’s a Beautiful Girl Under All Of This: Performing Hegemonic Femininity in Reality Television was a phenomenal article to read. It is so true how the media can play such a big role on how people view themselves and why people do certain things to their body. Alice Marwick expressed her ideas and facts to her fullest potential which made it so interesting to read. Reading the article has helped me as a person and as a teacher going forward professionally.









Works Cited:

Alice Marwick (2010) There’s a Beautiful Girl Under All of This: Performing Hegemonic Femininity in Reality Television, Critical Studies in Media Communication, 27:3, 251-266, DOI: 10.1080/15295030903583515

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