Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The MakeoverReality Television and Reflexive Audiences$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Katherine Sender

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814740699

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814740699.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Gender and Genre

Gender and Genre

Making Over Women’s Culture

(p.26) 2 Gender and Genre
The Makeover

Katherine Sender

NYU Press

This chapter examines four shows—The Biggest Loser, Queer Eye, Starting Over, and What Not to Wear—as examples of how reality television has reworked existing women's genres. As with other women's genres, these makeover shows are not exclusively about women or for female audiences alone. Rather, they prioritize historically feminine concerns, including self-presentation, consumerism, and an intimate relationship with the self, produced through interiority, affect, authenticity, and the everyday. In contextualizing the audiences' responses to these shows, the chapter considers the normative elements of the shows that privilege sexy, implicitly white, professional modes of self-presentation. It also asserts that within these highly gendered frames, there is some space for what Lauren Berlant calls female complaint.

Keywords:   women's genres, The Biggest Loser, Queer Eye, Starting Over, What Not to Wear, makeover shows, self-presentation, female complaint, Lauren Berlant

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.