Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters
An Open Call for the Close-Minded: Remedying the Impossible Body Image Standard for Women in the Entertainment Industry with an Emphasis on Weightism
Dr. Jocelyn Buckner
Throughout the history of the entertainment industry, female performers have been subjected to an impossible standard with regards to body image and outward appearance. Many women actors find themselves forced to endure rigorous dieting and exercise, painful processes of beautification, and even reconstructive surgery in an effort to achieve and maintain—what the industry perceives to be—the ideal feminine form. Appearance is so intricately ingrained within the industry that often women who possess remarkable talent are passed over for work in favor of the candidate with the smaller waistline or bigger breasts. This superficiality is poisonous to our culture, and to the women who are a part of it—women who must unwillingly conform to either the stereotypical characters that casting directors, producers, and agents tell them are their only options, or else toil to achieve a picture-perfect face and body that can only truly be created through the work of a computer.
In this study, I will examine the careers of non-standard but successful performers, the productions that attempt to defy the industry’s typical depiction of women, and the scholarly philosophies on the reception of these various influences by the public; I will use my research to determine steps we—as a society—can take in order to disband the impossible physical requirements imposed on women of the industry, and I will culminate it into a one-act play with the goal of accurately representing the struggles of a variety of body types and their psychological effect on female performers.
Beizer, Ellen, "An Open Call for the Close-Minded: Remedying the Impossible Body Image Standard for Women in the Entertainment Industry with an Emphasis on Weightism" (2016). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 214.
Presented at the Fall 2016 Student Research Day at Chapman University.