Monday, November 26, 2007

Blog post 4

Gia - Fairytale without the happily ever after....

Every young girl has dreams of being a princess and hopes of one day finding her prince charming. Gia begins narrating her life with, "Once upon a time there lived a pretty girl". Most girls and women view "pretty" as tall, thin, and blonde hair with blue eyes. These messages are conveyed in TV commercials, fashion ads, and throughout the media. According to Lakoff and Scherr, "There is a claim that fashion photographs generate enormous dissatisfaction among women because they create unrealistic expectations that most women are unable to meet (Crane, 314). In the movie, Gia didn’t fit in because she was not blonde, dressed like boy, smoked and cursed, and wasn’t lady like at all. You could say she was the opposite of what most typical models are. She displayed more masculine characteristics then feminine, but because of these differences people wanted to photograph her.

The story began much like a fairytale in that she was young girl looking in the mirror with her mother posing, while her mom was saying “you’re such a pretty girl”. But in reality, she was a poor young girl from Philadelphia, who’s dealt with an abusive father. Then, by some coincidence while out with her boyfriend, she comes in contact with a photographer who wants to take her picture because he sees potential in her. Her pictures get taken and she gets to go to the big city of New York to meet with a big modeling agency. Gia then gets her first modeling job and while there meets her “prince charming.” Then overnight she becomes a huge celebrity making loads of money. Her agent tells her, “She’s got the world at her fingertips” (Gia).

This fairytale is a little different than the traditional stories we read when we’re children of the prince rescuing the princess from distress. Instead of meeting a handsome young man, she meets a beautiful woman who she does a naked photo shoot with and falls in love with. It was like love at first sight for Gia. Unfortunately after their passionate night together, Linda was not interested in pursuing a relationship with Gia because she already had a boyfriend. This event seemed to break Gia and after making several attempts to make Linda fall in love with her, she was unsuccessful.

Her handsome young prince didn’t love her. She starts to use cocaine because of her loneliness and hopes that one day she will get “rescued.” She is still on top of the world but isn’t happy because she has no one to share her success with or her love her. Gia’s mother was there some of the time, but wasn’t there when Gia needed her most. Her mother abandoned her as a young girl and then later on after she had grown up. The final straw that broke her was when her agent died of lung cancer. That was the last person she could count on. At this point she turned to heroin to ease her pain. Eventually she contracted Aids and became very sick. This was a turning point and she finally cleaned herself up but it was too late.

Not all stories have a happy ending, and in Gia’s case, she lived the fairytale without the happily ever after. So what messages are we to sending to young girls and women that just because she lived an unhappy life, being beautiful made the struggle worthwhile? “Girls of all ages get the message that they must be flawlessly beautiful and, above all these days, they must be thin. Thus, many girls spend enormous amounts of time and energy attempting to achieve something that is not only trivial but also completely unattainable” (Kilbourne 260). Modeling hasn’t changed since Gia’s reign at the top. Agencies are still looking for the beautiful and thin girl. Fairytales give the image that there is a “prince charming” that will be there for the rescue but in fact is seldom the case.

Works cited,,20043289_20043292_463316_2,00.html&h=400&w=300&sz=23&hl=en&start=1&um=1&tbnid=aL9mygzMNw00tM:&tbnh=124&tbnw=93&prev=/images%3Fq%3DAngelina%2BJolie%2Bas%2BGIA%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26channel%3Ds%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26hs%3DSlB%26sa%3DG

Kilbourne, Jean. "The More You Subtract, The More You Add."

Crane, Diana "Gender And Hegemony In Fashion Magazines."