Popular Culture Paper

Popular Culture Paper - Women in Popular Culture Reflection...

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Women in Popular Culture Reflection Paper: Ideal Female Body Issues in Little Miss Sunshine , Thin , and Real Women Have Curves Anastasia Kral WS 201; Section J Alissa Stoehr, Instructor Fall 2007
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Kral Ideal female body themes found in the films Little Miss Sunshine , Thin , and Real Women Have Curves are supported by several topics discussed in the “Ambivalent Body/Ambivalent Beauty” portion of WS 201, including body image, body malleability, and the female beauty ideal found in this country. The portrayal of this topic in the three mentioned movies is also consistent with content found in many of the “Ambivalent Body/Ambivalent Beauty” assigned readings in the Women: Images and Realities text, specifically “The Beauty Myth” by Naomi Wolf, “The Body Politic” by Abra Fortune Chernik, “Breaking the Model” by Graciela (Chely) Rodriquez, and “Homage to My Hips” by Lucille Clifton. I will discuss these relationships as they pertain to each individual movie. Little Miss Sunshine In Little Miss Sunshine , a young girl named Olive is told she qualified for the Little Miss Sunshine Pageant. Olive had been practicing for this pageant and it seems her dream is to be a beauty queen of some sort as at the beginning of the film she is shown mimicking behaviors of the winner of the Miss USA Pageant. The film follows her family’s struggles getting Olive to the pageant and once there, the dismissal of the pageant’s seriousness and representation of beauty ideals. While at a stop on the road to California, the state the pageant took place in, Olive ordered ice cream for breakfast. Her dad began to lecture her about how ice cream was made from cream and cream makes people gain weight. He then asked Olive if she wanted to eat ice cream be fat or not eat it and stay skinny. Her mother and other family members protested this conversation but her dad continued and asked Olive if the women in the Miss America pageant, 2
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Kral an event she frequently studied and someday aspired to be in, were fat or thin. After some coaxing from family members, Olive ended up eating some of the ice cream. This wasn’t the only instance in the movie that Olive was questioning if her body’s measurements were up to par with the ideals supposedly needed to win such a pageant. When Olive arrived at the event, there was a sea of little girls getting airbrushed tans and make-up, their hair curled and hair-sprayed, and in costumes that revealed their midriffs. Olive went on stage without makeup and her hair in a simple ponytail. Her bathing suit was a one-piece ordinary suit while the other girls wore two-piece and embellished suits. After the bathing suit portion of the pageant, Olive is shown in the changing room looking in the mirror and sucking in and relaxing her stomach. It was clear that she was feeling inferior to the other overly made-up contestants. While no articles from the
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Popular Culture Paper - Women in Popular Culture Reflection...

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