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[Pn. 1] ‘Hey Doll’: Keeping Up with the Kardashians and the Construction of the Feminine Body

19 October 2013


With a sturdy grip on the American popular culture landscape, the Kardashian sisters are the latest embodiment of femininity. Drawing from Michel Foucualt’s discourse on the ‘panopticon’, this paper is a critical analysis of the reality television show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. As a fundamental factor at work in the fashioning of the feminine body, a close examination yields that their ‘docile bodies’ are fragmented through gender-specific disciplinary practices such as: close-up exaggerated shots of body parts, dieting and exercise to arrive at a particular shape and size, and an expectation of feminine movements and gestures. Moreover, the program has indirectly created a ‘panopticon’ for all women. The familiarity and over consumption of reality television has produced a kind of virtual ‘panopticon’ in which all women internalize an omnipresent—presumably male—gaze.


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