• Sine Dybdahl Krüger
  • Angela Badalanovic Bjerge
  • Simon Henryk Torp
2. Semester (Kandidat), Mediefag (Sidefag) (Tilvalgsfag eller Sidefag)
In this Master’s thesis, we examine body manifestations within chosen TV-series from popular culture, namely Tales of the City (2019), Insatiable (2018-2019), and Dietland (2018), in order to uncover how they comment on contemporary beauty ideals in relation to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and physical appearance. This is done in order to examine if these body representations reflect body positivity and gender activism within contemporary society. When doing so, we convey the meanings of the body iconographies within the series, since we consider the body as a sign that can be interpreted in order to identify the bodily communication. Essentially, the thesis has a post-structuralist approach, because the analysis is based on the principle that beauty ideals are not static but ever-evolving. Prior to the analysis, we briefly account for the historical development of Western body images and beauty ideals, as well as the complexity of the concept of beauty, in order to provide insight into the origin of contemporary beauty ideals and how they have historically been used to regulate human beings. In the analysis, we draw upon queer theory, narcissism theory, identity theory, the beauty myth as well as the notion of governmentality, in order to shed light on how the body is influenced by society’s body images and beauty ideals. The findings of the analysis reveal that the body manifestations within the series challenge body images and beauty ideals in contemporary society that are rooted within traditional masculinity and femininity, because these body iconographies are used to criticize contemporary beauty ideals and the lack of diversity within the media and the beauty industry. Therefore, these manifestations mirror contemporary body positivity and gender activism movements that encourage inclusivity by promoting diverse body representations. However, the three series also comment on the excessive focus on the body in society, suggesting that the strive for perfection has caused human beings to become self-righteous to such a degree that religious worship is frequently substituted with worship of the body. Ultimately, the shared message of the three series suggests that the immense focus on the body has negative effects on the individual, because it results in feelings of inadequacy and existential meaninglessness, since the strive for perfection is ultimately an unattainable fiction.
Udgivelsesdato2 jun. 2020
Antal sider186
ID: 333248337