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ERIC Number: EJ930417
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-1195-4353
Makeover Television: Instruction and Re-Invention through the Mythology of Cinderella
Thomas, Susan
College Quarterly, v13 n4 Fall 2010
Makeover shows are ideal sites from which to examine mediated images of the individual and the cultural values imparted through program viewing. The author ventured to investigate the interpellation of viewers and the decoding of the messages and ideology of the television program "What Not to Wear" (WNTW), a popular weekly makeover program that focuses on the physical appearance of its "ambushed" victims. WNTW speaks to viewers as learners with "rules" on how to dress for a better appearance, but it also carries messages and implications of the necessity to improve oneself, along with strict definitions of gender correctness. Do viewers recognize the hegemonic messages of prescribed notions of gender and acceptable appearance, or do the rituals of the program disguise them as natural parts of the narrative so as to desensitise viewers to the forces at play? In order to answer these questions the author undertook an exploration of viewer participation as the program was both watched and discussed, listening to feedback and impressions of a group of 6 women, during the airing of WNTW. Through these observations and the author's own participation in the viewing of the program, she was able to explore the implications of WNTW for a particular audience, examining the meaning taken from the experience, both overt and suggestive.
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. 1750 Finch Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M2J 2X5, Canada. Tel: 416-491-5050; Fax: 905-479-4561; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A