Representation of Black African women's bodies in the soap opera, Generations.
Thabethe, Funeka E.
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Feminists have always taken an interest in the manner in which the media represents women. This is due to the fact that the media is always accused of representing women in an unfavourable manner. If not under-represented, women are objectified or used to perpetuate negative stereotypes about women in general. Research demonstrates that the media has moved from under-representation of women. However, equal representation to men or overrepresentation of women does not necessarily mean correct representation. This dissertation is based on the soapi opera Generations, a soapie where female characters outnumber male characters. The purpose of this dissertation is to look at the manner in which black African women characters' bodies are represented. The women characters' bodies have been studied as social constructions with an underlying message. Foucault's ideas of subjectivity were employed to look at the unlimited possibilities as well as limitations of the body. Subjectivity when looking at bodies have been analysed through the flexibility of bodies to be changed through discipline, body gestures as well as adornment with jewellery and other accessories. Moreover, the underlying culture behind the various constructions was studied. The findings were that in the soapi opera Generations, the representation of women characters' bodies was highly influenced by western culture. The choice of a character's body size, hair texture and complexion is mainly that which is defined as beautiful in western culture.
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