The Liambiase selection addresses the stereotypes employed by present-day journalists in their newspaper articles. She looked specifically at the murder of two “all-American girls” whose characters were turned from innocent to corrupt within a matter of days.
When we think of the phrase “all-American girl,” we get a mental image and character profile to match. The phrase symbolizes beauty, popularity and a sense of athleticism. It is impossible (according to societal ideologies) for anyone who embodies the essence of an American to be anything but perfect. Consider for a second the Natalee Halloway story that was all over the news in 2005. Natalee was portrayed in this light in the early stages of her disappearance. A well-liked teen, honor student and overall good kid, the early reports on Natalee’s disappearance adhered to Liambiase’s definition of the “all-American girl.” Even the pictures printed in the paper backed up the claim:
Pearl necklace, long blonde hair, charming smile (perfect American girl).
Just like the article that Liambiase examined in his selection, Natalee’s image was altered as her story continued to be followed. Reporters focused on her heavy partying and carelessness after learning that she ran off with Arubian native, Joran Van Der Sloot. This change in depiction of Natalie paralleled the change in depiction of the two girls in the Liambiase selection.