Thursday, December 2, 2010

200 Pound Beauty

Entertainment-Education is a complex field that walks the tightropes between engaging the audience and instilling or disproving cultural norms. In walking this tightrope failure can be a way of life and it seems many messages turn south causing what is promptly labeled as the "Archie Bunker Effect"(Singhal, 7-9). Occuring when the character that is suppose to get the audience to rebuke the support of a sterotype actually reinforces it.

Thinking about the successful case of the show Jasoos Vijay in India covered by Catterjee and Frank and the way in which dramas can inflict value judgements and help overcome anti-setiment, I wondered if it could be applied to a certain Korean Drama. The drama, 200 pound beauty, aired in 2006 it appears to be a educative drama gone south. The story centers around a woman by the name of Hanna, a behind the scenes singer for a pop idol (who can't sing) who undergoes head to toe plastic surgery for the sake of love and a boost in confidence. If this combination wasn't potent enough, the drama ends with Hanna, now pop-idol material herself, denouncing her "all natural" branding to her fans and yet still being accepted for her dramatic change.

It is this kind of play on norms through captivating (or not) narrative dialogue that throws this drama's creditability for a loop. If we can consider this drama a form of entertainment-education media, then would it be a failure for enforcing an already growing concern of young urban Korean woman's current trend/obsession with plastic surgery? Or can it be viewed as a moral lesson that gets girls in the Urban areas of Korea speaking out about changing themselves for others and the consequences of such ?

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