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The Hills

The Hills is a spin off of the first generation cast of Laguna Beach. It features Lauren Conrad also known as L.C in Laguna Beach as the main character. Similar to Laguna Beach, the Hills is a reality television show based on the journey of Lauren Conrad in her quest at starting a new life at a different city than Orange County. Hence, it is no surprised that the show is narrated by Lauren herself. Through each episode, we as the audience get a glimpse of how Lauren lives her life as she juggles school, work, and friendship. The Hills is currently now showing on Monday, at 9 o’clock central time on MTV.

Similar to Laguna Beach, The Hills is also a MTV production. The show is designed to specifically aim at the female audience especially those from the age group of “tween? and above. Besides its schedule running time on Monday, MTV also has the show on many repeats throughout the week. The episode that I watched and chose to complete the analysis on is the latest episode that aired last Monday. It was called “New Year. New Friends?. During the episode, I have noticed that the majority of the commercials that were played were mostly on cars, cosmetics, and clothing.
The episode I watched was a continuation of the fight between Lauren and her best friend, Heidi. Apparently, Lauren is mad at Heidi for choosing her boyfriend, Spencer, over their friendship. Lauren had tried many times to convince Heidi that Spencer is a bad guy and that he will hurt her. Thus despite through her numerous attempts, it had only made her friendship with Heidi worst. Although this might seem just like any normal problem that anybody can experience, The Hills is far more than a mere accurate representation of reality. The show confirms many of the theory that we have discussed in class.
First, The Hills demonstrated perfectly the concept of class differences and white privilege. Lauren and all the cast members from the show all came from rich, upper class families. They live a luxurious live and had nothing but the best. Lauren and Heidi live in private, gated villa while other cast members reside in million dollar houses. They drive cars that an average American could never afford in his/her life. Simply put, they never have to worry about anything except for their own emotional needs. They are privileged in every aspect of life. The only time that Lauren and her friends ever feel distraught is about boys or having to figure out what place or things to do next. The show made this even more obvious by only taping the time that Lauren and the cast members go shopping, dine, and clubbing. Although it is mentioned briefly that Lauren goes to school. But of course, there would be no scene showing that she does. It would simply be too boring for reality t.v.
Furthermore, another concept that is very obvious in the show is gender differences and physical appearance. Even though the show might have more female cast members than male and that it may seem like the message that it’s sending is about gender equality, what actually appears when the show airs is completely different. First, on the issue of physical appearance, the characters in the show confirm exactly to the image that the media is portraying. They are thin, skinny and are dressed in the latest fashion trend. Not one single character in The Hills is overweight or badly dressed. Chanel, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, there are just a few examples of the fashion designers that are shown. In other words, Lauren and the cast members are simply a walking advertisement for the media. This sends out a very bad message to people who are watching especially those who are in their adolescent years. Just like Deborah has stated in her article called The Short Happy Life of Plus Size Women Fashion Magazine, our society has “continue to face the relentless homogenizing of the of the female body? (sarbin page 5) from every aspects especially the media, and this only further help contribute to the rising epidemic of anorexia. As was suggested in the Cara Hood’s article, “dieting is not a solution, rather than the means to produce healthy female bodies; it represents a short of media trickery, connected to the desire for thinness and the shame of obesity, that actually undermine the women’s effort to figure out how to eat? (page 2). Also, the girls in the show are very confirmative to their roles as male and female. For instance, they’re always in a search for a boyfriend, someone who can take care of them. This is clearly stated by Lauren during one of the episodes when she said, “I only need guys when I need to fix things and to carry my groceries or something heavy?. They are the perfect representation of the stereotype that girls are fragile, gossipy and always love to shop. Overall, this show has a bad influence to its audience. It is not recommended for watching and in case that one must, please only take this as entertainment and don’t take it seriously.

Comments


Thank you for you article. I'm currently researching "The Hills" and the female stereotype it is setting forth for girls. I found your article very interesting and helpful.