In the Name of Entertainment: Makeover TV

How to Look Good NakedReality Television is associated with different factors such as unprofessional actors, unscripted dialogue for the realistic effect, however in Snog Marry Avoid? Elements of the programme are staged in which the contestants are humiliated for their appearance, e.g. People talking behind their back as they walk past is often featured. The participants also appear to come off as quite dumb in order to add to the humiliation they are about to face. How to Look Good Naked also uses staged elements. E.G Gok Wan often destroys the participants clothing if it is ‘unflattering’ again this detracts away from realism as it wouldn’t happen if the cameras weren’t filming as well as the organisation of the catwalk in shopping centres where participants showcase their new transformation and are asked to appear naked at the end of the catwalk.

The success of makeover reality television shows are due to the increasing concerns of health and body image, in order to adhere to a certain set of standards set by society women are subjected to what Laura Mulvey calls the male gaze which, it can also be linked to ideology. Ideology can be defined as “a systematic framework of social understanding motivated by a will to power or a desire to be accepted as the ‘right’ way of thinking”(Lacey, 2009, p.100)The underlying systems of ideology within the media makes consumers feel that striving for the ‘perfect’ image is acceptable behaviour and that body image is extremely important.

Cosmo MagazineMagazine images of slim models and celebrity inspiration is constantly in the limelight which makes media consumers feel that they should look that way as it is the only body image being perceived, if celebrities put on weight or are photographed without makeup on then they are instantly criticised for having an unpolished appearance, this reflects on females in society as they are portrayed as being abnormal or unattractive if they have a curvy frame and skin that isn’t flawless.

In How to Look Good Naked, the female participants are unhappy with their looks and it is hyper-emphasized with close up camera shots on the body parts which they find ‘unconventional’, e.g. stomachs and thighs are frequently the parts which females tend to dislike about their selves. “Knowing that she is to be subjected to the cold appraisal of the male connoisseur and that her life prospects may depend on how she is seen, a woman learns to appraise herself first.” (Bartky, 1990, 38) In both Snog Marry Avoid? And How to Look Good Naked the reasons for the contestants wanting the makeovers are often more deep rooted than simply wanting to feel good about their selves, it is also influenced by how they feel they should look. Quite often the contestants lack confidence in their bodies and feel that they need to change in order to attract a partner or what is more relevant for How to Look Good Naked is the desire to feel more feminine after having children, having had their body shape change prior to and after giving birth the female lacks confidence in herself, as Bartky illustrates the female must learn to love her body first and maintain it in societal standards in order for it to be appealing to the opposite sex and even in the instance that elements of her life may depend on her appearance which could be career related.

Ok MagazineAlthough the purpose of makeover programmes is to change the lifestyle of participants it attracts it’s audiences by adding in entertainment aspects at the costs of humiliating those who have taken part in the programme. According to Dovey (2000) lifestyle television is “filled by voices proclaiming and celebrating their own “freakiness”, articulating their most intimate fears and secrets” (Biressi and Nunn, 2005, p.96) In How to Look Naked participants prior to their makeovers have an image of their body projected onto a large building in a public place, wearing only unflattering lingerie as strangers are exhibited to their humiliation.

Barbie Twins In Snog, Marry, Avoid? Before their appearance is changed the participants have over eccentric looks, little clothing and large amounts of make up on, they are quite often ‘bullied’ over their appearances by what members of the public have to say about them, another reason why they want the makeover is to feel confident in their selves after being subjected to bullying in the past which is what makes them cover their selves in makeup and fake tan as a sort of persona in order to hide their true identity.

Conboy et al (1997) argues that the body is constantly in the process of change, without the changes linking to societal requirements the female form will always be considered grotesque or undesirable, this links into makeover programmes such as How to Look Good Naked and Snog Marry Avoid? As stated previously females feel they should change the way they look in order to fit the standards rather than to accept the way they already look, this is a reflection of body image and vanity in contemporary culture due to the increasing pressure to look perfect.

Freak Show PosterMetaphorically the lifestyle programme is like watching a freak show, the female is exhibited in front of an audience who can laugh at her expense because of her unconventional appearance.

In conclusion reality television is constantly using entertainment factors in order to make their shows more appealing to consumers, although it takes away the realism with its use of staged scenes it still makes lifestyle shows such as How to Look Good Naked and Snog Marry Avoid? Successful. The freak show format allows audience to laugh at the expense of others and feel better about their selves which allows the programmes to legitimise the female body in the name of entertainment, if the body doesn’t fit societal standards showcased by the media then it isn’t acceptable so why not laugh at it? This is what the makeover programme offers, the humiliation and entertainment of others whilst they try to fit the norm and adhere to what they think they should look like. It’s the shocking dress and makeup choices that participants in Snog Marry Avoid? Wear that makes the show more appealing, they essentially humiliate their selves on a daily basis with the poor choices of thick layers of tan and little clothing so adding it into the reality format makes the show more entertaining and acceptable to laugh at others as it isn’t something that you could do in real life. It essentially showcases the female body for bullying/humiliation if it isn’t perfect and calls it entertainment.

Bibliography

Biressi, A. and Nunn, H. (2005) Reality TV: Realism and Revelation. London: Wallflower Press.

Conboy, K, Medina, N and Stanbury, S. (ed.) (1997) Writing on the Body: Female Embodiment and Feminist Theory. New York:Columbia University Press.

Lacey, N (2009). Image and Representation: Key Concepts in Media Studies. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mulvey, L. (2009) Visual and other pleasures. 2nd ed. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

 

*images from Google

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Josie Cunningham: Abortion for Fame

Josie CunninghamDespicable mother Josie Cunningham who sparked outrage when she received a £4800 boob job for free continues to kick up drama wherever she goes. The mom who was set to sue the NHS over her boob job which apparently made her unhappy because her glamour model career didn’t go to plan also received another free Botox operation to  sort out her condition hyperhidrosis which causes excessive sweating.

The latest scandal to reach the news is that the mother of two who is now pregnant with her third child (father unknown) wishes to have an abortion just to go on the reality TV show Big Brother, she claims producers approached her before the pregnancy but because of her condition they don’t wish to continue the contract. After the modelling career failed Josie turned to the escort life for ‘easy money’ she is unaware if the father is a client who paid her £1000 for sex or whether or not it was a casual fling with a friend.  Maybe instead of chasing fame and free operations off the NHS she should focus on the children she already has.

This new scandal has caused outrage for so many reasons:

  • She’s already claiming to have free dental treatment whilst she’s pregnant
  • She’s glamorising abortions 
  • She’s a fame hungry mess
  • She should focus on her own children

Josie Cunningham PregnantMany people who have suffered the loss of a child will be affected by this vile act, for those who cant have children for medical reasons will not want to know that someone out there who has the opportunity to give the gift of life will give it all up just to try and become famous. Fame isn’t everything so maybe Josie should get that into her head before deciding to abort a life, abortion is a hard decision and shouldn’t be considered for vanity reasons.

If she goes ahead with the abortion and does land on Big Brother does she really think the viewers will back her and launch her into stardom? The glamour model career didn’t exactly go to plan so why would anyone want to see her become famous for all the wrong reasons. She gives Britain a bad name and people should stop feeding the troll.

*images from Google

BodyShockers: My Tattoo Hell

Katie PiperBodyshockers: My Tattoo Hell is the first of I believe three shocking documentaries on Channel 4 focusing on body modification, the second focuses on piercings and then the third and final documentary goes back to tattoos.

Tattoo’s are never perceived in a positive light it seems, previously Channel 4 had a show focusing on poorly executed tattoos and tattoos done abroad on drunk holiday makers, why can they not focus on credible artists for a change?

Katie Piper meets different people with tattoo regrets ranging from a new mom to a Johnny Depp impersonator, the most shocking tattoo of the show to me was one on a mans eyelid, what a strange and painful place for a tattoo! This man purely got the tattoo to out stage his brother who has a camel tattooed on his toe, the man in questioning had ‘Japs’ tattooed on his eyelid with is just bad taste and racist. He claimed to have gotten it whilst on a drunk night out not thinking about his decision, what the show didn’t highlight it that it is illegal to tattoo somebody under the influence. He takes the painful and dangerous route of tattoo removal.

Merlisa My Tattoo HellNew mom Merlissa had a large chest piece done to rebel against her grandparents, at the tender age of 16! Again not mentioned on the show that this is again illegal. Getting a tattoo for the shock factor is never a good idea, Merlissa undertakes the decision to have the piece removed as she feels self conscious around other mothers at they playground, she states it was part of her past and no longer wants the piece as a reminder, this is why tattoos should have large amounts of thought put into them before they are inked permanently.

I don’t want to detail the whole show as it is worth a watch so i’ll leave you with the trailer! Documentary is available on 4OD

 

*images from Google

Salon ‘Fat Tax’ Worth The Cost?

Wax potFat Tax, sounds like a joke right? Well evidently not! A salon in London ‘MM Bubbles’ has the audacity to charge women with a dress size of 12 and above extra for treatments such as leg waxing.

Women dress size 12 and over are charged an extra £5 and £10 for those above size 18, why? simply because the owners believe they should do this to cover the cost of using extra materials, personally I find it quite insulting and don’t see wax products breaking the bank for them but its a policy they have firmly set into place.

The national average dress size of a British women is  size 16 so why does this particular salon believe size 12 is ‘large’? The treatment itself before the price increase is £21 which isn’t exactly cheap let alone adding an extra 5-£10 on top of it.

For some women this could be a blow to their confidence, especially for those who aren’t comfortable with their bodies due to the media forever emphasizing tiny frames and portraying curvy women as being unattractive compared to the model ideal.

Do you think this is a fair ‘tax’?

Id love to hear your thoughts.

Short Skirts: Short Fares

Amy ChildsBrentwood Council in Essex are considering a move to see females on a night out receive cheaper taxi fares if they are wearing revealing or short clothing, this is due to being more at risk if they cannot safely get home or afford the current taxi fare. The move is considered to come after individuals are inspired by the programme Towie, personally I have never seen this programme so aren’t familiar with what it is inspiring, a assume it is something to do with an active nightlife…. Amy Childs has also been named for blame but she has hit back claiming it’s unfair that individuals could be more at risk for wanting to look ‘glamorous’. 

This kind of thing subjects females into a ‘victim’ category based on what they are wearing, it shouldn’t be assumed that women who wear little clothing are automatically going to be a victim of a rape crime, not all men are going to rape someone on a night out.

Its a strange thing for the council to consider but if it becomes possible then could it not mean that girls will purposely wear little clothing so that they to can have their fare cut? It wouldn’t be fair otherwise if someone has to pay full price because they are deemed to be wearing more clothing that doesn’t see them at risk if alone at night.

Surely ladies going out think ahead to ensure that they can get back home, it could also be seen as sexist, why should it just be females that get taxi fares cut? It would cost £3000 to put the scheme into action and local people believe that if people can afford to go out drinking then they can afford to get their selves home, they do make a far point

Would it not be better to put a policy into practise that meant ladies had to wear a certain length of dress or skirt when clubbing? im not saying it has to be below knee length so legs are completely covered but maybe not short enough that the whole world can see up it if you were to bend down as this could give off an ‘easy’ impression, or maybe taxi ranks could be closer to the nightclubs so people aren’t walking alone in the dark, either way I think another solution could be put into action rather than costing the taxpayers £3000 for a scheme that seems over the top.

Beauty Perception: Global Cosmetic Trends

Beauty on a whole cannot be avoided, different cultures and countries have an idealistic vision of what is deemed as beautiful and perfect. Some countries are offering surgery which is taking body image to a whole new level, what would be the extent of your beauty regime?

Bizarre Beauty

Believe it or not in China a sign of success can be shown by your height, the average height of females is 5ft, 2ins but what does that have to do with beauty? Well locals are putting their selves through surgery to lengthen their height, a painful measure to be perceived as successful.

Leg surgeryThe process involves the individuals legs being broken and then stretched on a rack, it involves pins being screwed into the flesh and being held into place until the desired length is achieved. Is something that sounds so painful and looks it really worth the trouble, what would happen if a trend was put into place where being small was beautiful?

If you thought that was bad in South Korea a procedure can be undertook for your jaw to be reshaped, again this involves the bones being broken and in some cases the bone can be shaven, a dangerous trend that is populating around South Korea so women can have more petite and feminine looking faces.  

In Japan nose implants in the form of dermal fillers are being placed in those that want to achieve a larger looking nose, now I’ve heard of nose reductions but making them larger seems strange to me, the dermal fillers can also be placed in the chin.

skin-whitening-cream-2In Thailand if you have light skin then you are considered to be rich as you haven’t been working in the sun all day, because of this status an increase of skin lightening cream has increased in sales. “A survey carried out by the British Skin Foundation found that 16% of
dermatologists believe lightening creams are ‘completely unsafe’ and 80% feel
they are only safe when prescribed by a dermatologist”

buttock_implant_placementsThe Large Bum Trend

Bum Implants aren’t out of the ordinary, curvier women are considered sexier in some cultures, famously known as ‘The Brazilian Butt lift’ it is becoming more popular in the UK, another dangerous surgery as reported it can kill you if not done correctly, previous stories have included the implants leaking which has gotten into the bloodstream and caused heart failure.

Stranger methods are in order in Jamaica, in a society where having a curvy body and larger bum is essential women are being driven to achieve the look by consuming “chicken” pills, this is usually something a farmer gives to their chickens in order for them to gain weight, should it really be for human consumption? However in India women are taking steroid pills in order to get larger, surely steroids is a bad idea and are harmful to the body and not worth the risk.

Overview

Whilst cosmetic surgery isn’t out of the ordinary anymore and is increasingly becoming more common, there are in fact 27,730 plastic surgeons are operating around the world, the perception of beauty isn’t reliable and can change quicker than expected so is putting your health at risk to fit the norm really worth it? Cosmetic surgery may seem like a quick fix but can hazard all sorts of risks especially if a reputable surgeon hasn’t done the procedure. People all over the world should enjoy their bodies and embrace what they have, why should it matter if you aren’t as tall as you want to be? So what if you don’t have a large bum it shouldn’t matter what we look like so long as we are confident in our own skin.

*images from Google

Is Curvy The New Size Zero?

Everyday women are exposed to images of tiny women, ‘size zero’ models sparked the thinspiration trend, sufferers of this are rejecting their natural body shape to try to achieve the fragile appearance of super models with thigh gaps, as stated in a previous blog, the eating disorder charity B-Eat have stated that if someone has a thigh gap then their body is not yet adult….

Kate MossStriving for the super skinny look is both physically and mentally challenging on the body, individuals can be made to feel guilty if they indulge in meals being told that they’ll become fat or that they are fat for enjoying food, but why should someone be told not to like their body for what it is. An extreme of gaining an eating disorder from the goal of reaching size zero can lead to a body dysmorphic disorder where the sufferer will spent large amounts of time worrying about their appearance and will often see negative points which may not even be physically there, the image below demonstrates an example.

bodyimageModels like Kelly Brook and Kate Upton embrace their size 12 bodies and don’t strive for the unhealthy overly skinny look which comes with the negative effects of eating disorders, fragile appearances and in some cases bones sticking out of the body. 

Kelly Brook herself has this to say:

“A real woman should have curves. It’s sad that so many young, impressionable  girls are faced with images of seriously thin models and think this is the  way  they should look. 

Having an hourglass figure, boobs and bum is all part of being a woman. Size zero is over. Lots of girls say they admire my figure and, to me, that’s the most important thing.

Young women should have role models who aren’t constantly on diets and  brainwashed about fitting into tiny clothes. I dress to accentuate my  curves,  like Marilyn Monroe did. She oozed glamour with her shapely  silhouette.”

Females should be comfortable with their body shapes and accentuate what they have rather than trying to lose it to an unhealthy body weight craze. H&M openly admitted that they want to get away from the image of unhealthy models and use ‘real’ women in their fashion campaigns to promote a healthy body image, recent models have included Beyoncé and Jennie Runk a size 12 model from the USA.

Jennie RunkIt shouldn’t matter if you have a natural curve to your body, embrace yourself and don’t let anybody put you down over your size, thinspiration isn’t a good trend to follow and more should be done to stop images of ‘encouragement’ being openly posted on social networking sites. 

Move over size zero your time is coming to an end…..

Kate Uptonhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2333000/H-M-admits-models-skinny-embraces-bombshell-curves-Beyonc-plus-size-beauty-Jennie-Runk.html

*images from Google

Hairy Tights: Would You Buy Them?

A bizarre trend has sparked from China, women are purchasing tights which make it appear that they haven’t shaved their legs in months, why you ask? Simply to hoard off unwanted attention from men peering at their legs.

J.Crew have a lace design (as pictured above) to give the hairy legs appearance but would you personally purchase a pair of these?.

It sounds like such a strange and unattractive product to own let alone wear…. 

Amy Jones modelled the tights in varies situations “I explain that they are tights intended to fend off men. Ollie, an engineer,  makes a helpful suggestion: “Just wear trousers. You look weird.” (Full story on The Sun link)

Ollie makes a good point, why should women go to the extremes of purchasing hairy tights just to put off unwanted male attention? Just because a female has her legs on show does not mean that it is there for the purpose of men to look at her.

Why should women constantly have to maintain theirselves in order to be considered sexy? A lot of woman feel the need to shave regularly as it’s considered abnormal not to.

Would leg hair put you off and is this trend going to take off?

Personally I feel its a waste of money unless you intend to wear it for a Halloween costume. If you don’t mind the look of hairy legs then just throw away the razor instead of throwing money at a gimmick.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/4980425/Hairy-scary.html

*image from Google