Research & Writing
The ever-changing culture of the media landscape is my intellectual playground. My research primarily focuses on representations of gender in the media. The creative writing samples provide a glimpse into my vocal versatility.
Please enjoy reading any of my creative writing samples, available for download below.
Not sure where to start? My piece Love at the First Rose, an expose on The Bachelor and Bachelorette TV series, is generally a crowd-pleaser.
Please enjoy reading any papers concerning my research, available for download below. All are APA style. I encourage you to contact me for more samples or inquires about my work.
Love at the First Rose: The Gender-Biased Narrative of Love in The Bachelor and The Bachelorette
Abstract: The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are some of the most successful reality TV shows of the 21st century and continue to reach a sizable audience. The Bachelor/ette franchise may not be perfectly representative of dating reality, but its success demonstrates that it does represent the narrative of love deemed ideal by society. This study examined the latest seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, season 20 and season 12, respectively, to analyze narrative themes between the seemingly identical programs. Data was collected for “pre-date” reaction, date activity, date conversation, “post-date” reaction, and elimination ceremonies. Special note was taken anytime “I am falling in love” or “I am in love” were said during the show. Analysis revealed significant gender differences between the two shows concerning gender-stereotypical group date activities, the importance of the family for the female, and the need for men to prove they disobey societal commitment phobia norms.
What's Love Got to Do With It?
Narratives of Female Sexual Agency on Television
Abstract: Sexual agency is “a multi-dimensional construct that reflects a woman’s ability to act on her behalf sexually, express her needs and desires (including the desire to say, ‘‘no’’), and advocate for herself” (Seabrook et al., 2017, p. 242). Gendered scripts dictate that a woman must be passive in her sexual pursuits. Although sexual content on TV is increasing in prevalence and appears in 82% of TV shows, the majority of sexual narratives are burdened by a patriarchal narrative that privileges the male gaze. Beginning with I Love Lucy (1951) – and with pivotal moments with Sex and the City (1998) and Girls (2012) – it has been a slow journey in the representation of female sexual agency. Over a decade of programming, the narratives have primarily focused on white women and existed in the comedic genre. As exhibited by a diverse sample of shows, is most valuable for there to be a compilation of female sexuality narratives in the media.
"I'm the Main Character of My Life":
How the Manic Pixie Dream Girl Lives in Support of the Male Story
Abstract: Film critic Nathan Rabin coined the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl (MPDG) to describe the trope of a quirky female character who exists solely to help an emotionally repressed man appreciate life. Although Rabin intended the term to call out cultural sexism, it has been increasingly used in a sexist manner. The key difference between the MPDG and realistic, quirky female characters is the MPDG’s lack of pursuit of personal goals and failure of the Bechdel Test. There have been some attempts to challenge the MPDG trope, namely through subversive MPDG storylines, the creation of a MPDBoy, or the addition of a female protagonist. Examples of these attempts and the lack of females in power in Hollywood is discussed.
The Campaign to Engage with Online Consumers:
Analysis of the Dove Real Beauty Campaign
Abstract: The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty is one of the most successful advertising campaigns of the 21st century due to a relationship of constant online engagement between the Dove brand and the brand community. Through modification of previous discourses concerning consumer selection, the value of female beauty, and authenticity of content, Dove appears as a progressive brand offering an alternative path for the woman who wants to be empowered. However, it is not too radical in changing the discourse completely; the campaign continues a culture of exclusivity and focus on female physical beauty. The females who relate to these discourses form the brand community. The brand community then shapes the Dove brand online through brand engagement, addition of community members, and continuation of Dove’s discourse by making content go viral. It is argued that Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign could not be successful without the online brand community.
How to be a Stereotype: Analysis of How to be Single
Abstract: Stereotypes are a staple in comedic films because they allow for more focus on jokes than on character identity. How to be Single (New Line Cinema, 2016) is no exception to the romantic comedy tropes, clichés, and stereotypes. Alice represents the “innocent girl”, Meg the “spinster”, Lucy the “shrewish wife”, and Robin the “manic pixie dream girl”. Even so, it is more progressive than other films of the genre because the characters prove to be somewhat more complex than their initial stereotypical categorization and break the romantic comedy formula.