Media & Communication Studies
Throughout the 2000s and early 2010s, many children’s programs were about fame and featured female protagonists while being written and produced by men. Despite being written by men, these shows clearly interpellate a young female audience. “Miracles Happen” explores this media and considers what girlhood is and what this media is teaching its audience. The first chapter looks at Disney’s studio and its history on how it inserts itself into the private lives of children. This chapter also analyzes this history and makes connections to how these traditions are carried into shows meant for girls on the Disney Channel. It also considers the value of friendship, post-feminism, gender as a performance, and balancing a life of normalcy and fame in Disney’s programs. Chapter two then looks at Nickelodeon and the exceptions of content meant for young boys about the life of celebrities. Instead of focusing on separating the child from fame, Nickelodeon suggests that there is no hiding your stardom. While these Nickelodeon programs are products starring boys, they are about boy bands which draws in a young female audience too. This chapter also discusses technology and its relationship to children and specifically to girls. The conversation of technology will also serve as a transition to chapter three as the chapter focuses on real life child celebrities, their “authentic” lives as working children, and social media as a new way of producing stardom. Overall, the project explores television programs and films targeted toward tweens in the way that they are fascinated with how to be famous, stay famous, and yet live a “normal” life as a celebrity (mainstream or online), even though we all know that celebrities live a life that is anything but normal.
Thompson, Sarah, "Miracles Happen: An Exploration of Girlhood and Celebrity" (2022). Media and Communication Studies Honors Papers. 11.