ISSN: 20455852
First published in 2012
2 issues per volume
Volume 2 Issue 2
Cover Date: June 2013
Fairy tales and funhouse mirrors: Frameworks of assimilation and conformity in Extreme Makeover, The Swan and What Not To Wear
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Authors:  Carlen Lavigne 
DOI: 10.1386/ajpc.2.2.221_1

reality television,makeover,cosmetic surgery,feminism,fashion,narrative

Numerous researchers have commented unfavourably on the classist, sexist and assimilationist nature of contemporary American makeover programs; this article examines Extreme Makeover, The Swan, and What Not To Wear in order to identify the narrative paradigms most commonly used to cloak such conformist pressures in more socially acceptable guises. A close analysis demonstrates how frameworks such as initiation rituals, aesthetic ideals, market values, self-empowerment, and fairy tales ultimately overlap to deflect attention from feminist concerns about larger social issues and serve to demonstrate how these pervasive cultural ideas have been reworked to serve political and commercial ends.
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