Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mia Thermopolis to Princess Mia of Genovia

I really enjoyed the reading on Postmodernism because I found that it was something that our generation can easily relate to. There are so many great examples of this in media, specifically in movies today, that I was happy to finally put a name to what I've been watching all these years. Anyway, as Sturken and Cartwright explain, the goal of Postmodernism is for the audience to look at values that "underlie all systems of thought and thus to question the ideologies within them that are seen as natural." What I like about this goal is that postmodern ideals are looking for audiences who are media savvy, meaning that they are not easily fooled by society's techniques of propaganda- so their audience is typically parents. However, I did find a great example of Postmodernism that is targeted to children AND parents. Take the movie, The Princess Diaries.

Disney infuses postmodern ideas in the movie, The Princess Diaries, because it portrays a character, Mia Thermopolis, a not very attractive, unpopular, band geek only until she receives the news that she is going to be the next princess of her father's country, Genovia. Thus, we begin to see an extreme transformation in Mia's character as her grandmother, the Queen of Genovia, gives her a total makeover. As soon as her classmates and the public gets news of Mia's princess status, Mia becomes extremely popular at school, as she finally gets the attention of the hot guy she used to drool over, and cameras film her as she steps out of her grandmother's limo before walking to class. Mia has achieved an entire new identity while making this transformation from ordinary school girl to beautiful, celebrity, princess. This is an exact illustration of how Disney adopts this changing identity. Mia is not born with this beautiful confident persona, (therefore, it is not innate- postmodernism) it is only until she adopts the ideals of her grandmother, which are closely innertwined with the ideals of society, that she becomes truly confident.

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