Date of Degree

9-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Women's and Gender Studies

Advisor

Jillian Baez

Subject Categories

Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | Other Film and Media Studies | Social Media | Women's Studies

Keywords

feminism, postfeminism, media studies, social media, beauty

Abstract

The makeover montage trope is one of the most recognizable in media content aimed at young women, sending the message that social status and acceptance are only a new outfit and face of makeup away. While this trope and its message have been heavily critiqued by scholars, the message that beauty—and all its social benefits—can be achieved through consumerism has not disappeared, though the means by which this message is conveyed has changed. As a result of companies co-opting feminist rhetoric, conforming to standards of beauty has been recast as a “choice” one makes for herself, often wrapped in the language of “empowerment” and commodity feminism. My thesis explores the ways in which beauty has been recast and the language of self-care used to encourage women to conform to societal standards of femininity. I also consider the ways in which women with media platforms—both traditional forms of media and social media—critique and resist these notions through parody, satire, and information about self-care that does not involve outer beauty or consumption.

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