A cut above the rest
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This study examines the influence media texts have on the reception and consumption practices of female audiences. Specifically looking at how reality makeover programming plays a role in the way women identify with socially constructed beauty ideals and incorporate them into their own lives. Through a textual analysis of The Swan and Extreme Makeover and in-depth interviews with women who have and have not had plastic surgery, this dissertation examines the power of ÒtransformationÓ and how makeover programs have contributed to the normalization of cosmetic surgery as a way to create a ÒfeminineÓ appearance. In addition, this dissertation argues that makeover programs provide its participants with a fairy tale experience, complete with a happy ending, which equates to shapely legs, fuller breasts and thinner noses.