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The MakeoverReality Television and Reflexive Audiences$
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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

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Shame on You

Shame on You

Schadenfreude and Surveillance

(p.80) 4 Shame on You
The Makeover

Katherine Sender

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on audiences' responses to how makeover candidates are represented on the shows according to axes of distancing and self-adjusting identification. It asks how audiences understand surveillance and shame in the process of the candidate's makeover, and to what extent they adopt the shows' surveillance techniques to see themselves as if through the gaze of others. The participants do talk about adopting a show's monitoring gaze, but this tended to be very program-specific, rather than a property of the genre. The chapter shows how the power of surveillance techniques to render candidates authentic comes with costs; existing in others' eyes is central to the experience of shame. The audience's responses indicate their more complex engagement with the shows' representations of pre-makeover candidates than the spectrum between schadenfreude and a willing submission to self-surveillance suggests.

Keywords:   makeover candidates, surveillance, shame, schadenfreude, self-adjusting identification, pre-makeover candidates

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