My new column was just posted on FlowTV, and I thought I'd give a little recap because it's about a topic that is near and dear to many grown-up girls who like media and thought that Jason Priestly was a total fox back in 1990. A new "90210" is in town, and it hit me like a ton of bricks how the girl's and women's bodies on this show literally demonstrate Susan Bordo's point that culture imprints the body over time. Indeed, Bordo can be a little theoretically heavy, but if these two photographs do not make the point crystal clear (and please ignore the outdated 90s fashion and just concentrate on what's under these women's clothes for a minute). Notice that the original characters have hips and thighs (poor Andrea Zuckerman must be standing on blocks, but I think that's the only photo enhancement going on here), for example.
More subtle but just as startling is the age adjustment that has always gone on. As I wrote in the column, we thought the original cast looked WAY too old to be in high school -- maybe in the realm of 23 or 24, which actually was true in a couple of their cases. The new cast looks similarly old. You can read the column to see my theories on this, but the fact that even the adults now seem to be averaging out at age 28 in looks is an important difference to note. Anyway, you can read the column on Flow and tell me what you think. I find it tremendously disturbing on so many levels.
And despite all of this critiquing, of course, I'll tune in to the new one in September. I've been addicted to "Gossip Girl" from the first show and own every season of "The OC" on DVD. As a scholar, it's fascinating stuff. As a guilty-pleasure-TV-lover, it would be impossible to ignore it.