Monday, January 30, 2012

The Swan

The section that I found most interesting in Gill’s work was the section titled “The Makeover Paradigm”. Even though I am looking at these shows and movies from a male perspective I still agree with everything that she is saying. I don’t watch these shows often (notice how I slide that in there so people don’t doubt my masculinity), but the one that came to mind that fit the most into the idea that has bothered both Gill and me was the 2004 Fox show called The Swan. It is interesting to note the differences between the movie that Gill points out, Hitch, and The Swan. In Hitch where there is a male protagonist, the over arching theme is that even though he is unattractive by standard definitions, he can still get the girl by being himself. The message is not that he should change himself in order to get the girl, it is in fact the exact opposite, trying to change is what is turning her away. For guys, change is bad. Where as, in The Swan, the entire point of the show is that you cannot be happy without changing yourself to the standard definitions of beauty. The Swan takes women who are considered ugly and has them undergo intense plastic surgery in order to become attractive. They then featured each woman and showed how their lives improved before competing in a pageant at the end of the show. The media through this movie and show are giving two completely different ideas on how to be happy. For males, you need to be yourself. For females, you can’t be yourself.

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