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Media Analysis Essay on 'The Gilmore Girls'

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Gilmore Girls were first introduced in the 2000s, A dramedy centering around the relationship between a single parent and her teen daughter living in Stars Hollow, Connecticut. In the scene, it shows Lane and her best friend Rory dying her hair from black to purple to black, in frustration over her double life, Lane dyes her hair purple to openly protest because of her growing feelings for Dave which her mother does not approve of. The identities represented by Lane are that she is a Koreon-American, female, Christian, 16, and rebellious, her Mother, however, is a middle-aged woman, she is ultra-conservative and deeply religious, she keeps Lane on a short rope, which leads Lane to rebel against her.

When Lane was first introduced, she was in full-fledged secret rebellion lifestyle mode, eating pizza and wearing band shirts when hanging out with Rory, but singing Christian hymns and living off tofu in bulk at the Kim house. Lane leads a double life, hiding all evidence of her American lifestyle such as rock CDs, make-up, and forbidden clothing under her floorboards, in her closet, and under the mattress in her bedroom. Her mother, Mrs. Kim, is a super-conservative Christian who forbids Lane to listen to music, talk to boys, or eat anything but her hyper-healthy offerings. Mrs. Kim is so over-the-top, so insane and so intense as her character is indeed a grotesque exaggeration of a stereotypical Asian immigrant parent.

In this scene, Lanes' best friend Rory Gilmore is a prototypical bookworm girl, Lane decides to dye her hair purple to protest because of her mother's strict rules, she has finally had enough and decides to take control over her life. In reference to hair, In the show you can clearly see that her hair was naturally black, it is very rare to be able to reach that level of blond in one session and this is highly dependent on the quality of bleach powder used. In most cases, you will need to bleach it at least twice. As Rory is a 'clever' girl she would have known to read the instructions and would have known it would be impossible to reach that shade of blond in Lane's hair, she then decides to dye her hair purple but in reality, Lane's hair would have started to break off in chunks, soon after regrets it and immediately dyes it back to (shiny healthy) black. Which would have been a challenge if it were in real life due to the damage of the bleached hair.

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Synnott notes show: 'Hair is perhaps our most powerful symbol of individual and group identity powerful first because it is physical and therefore extremely personal, and second because, although personal, it is also public rather than private' (Synnott 381). Lane has had a rough teenage life; she was constantly forced to hide her true self and dying her hair purple signifies power and liberation. Her Hair represents how important it is to someone's identity as it can make them feel like they have more power and control in their life. This links to this quote as she is making a public statement to the town, that is no longer letting her mother take control over her life, and she not hiding her true self anymore.

In the clip, Shane serves Lane and Rory at the till, who they were extremely rude to, the show has a problem with blond women and paints several of them as shallow and unintelligent, to make Rory and Lorelai seem more interesting in comparison. Shane, Lindsay, Sherry, and the 'Stars Hollow Karens were all blond and all hated. Shane and Jess's entire relationship was merely physical, showing that blond-haired women were sexualized in the show, and I found it interesting to observe how the most desirable and heavily sexualized form of beauty was the 'blond bombshell.' For this reason, I think Shane was given a job at the beauty shop due to her being the stereotypical beauty standard, blond curly hair, blue eyes, pour less skin. Lane's efforts to pass as White, or at least, not Asian. 'Lane's choices rest comfortably in the postfeminist landscape of Stars Hollow, where individuality and personal choices eclipse actual institutional discrimination or geopolitical tensions' (Stern, 2012) throughout the show Lane tries living a more mainstream 'normal' life. She constantly complains of her mother's over-protectiveness and strictness, which she views as trying to control her life, and dying her hair is her way of getting back from her mother and having some control of her life, she says in the video 'my Independence Day' which also suggests she is now free and independent as dying her hair is a big statement that her mother would hate.

Mrs. Kim comes from a strict background herself; the grandmother is a strict Buddhist who is unaware that her daughter is a Christian, forcing her to hide her bibles and crosses under the same floorboards where Lane hid her music. Lane is finally able to understand her mother through this rebellion, her Christianity becomes as subversive as Lane's rock and roll. There are many cultural differences between Korea and America one being beauty, American people enhance the tan, heavy, smoky eye look whereas Koreans typically go for the petite, glowing, minimal makeup look.

In summary, Hair is the physical representation of how diverse cultures impact our identities and how it can either help us belong, conform, or free us from societies and subcultures. Weitz states: 'how central hair is to appearance and how women use hair both to establish group identity and as a form of everyday resistance against their parents, husbands, dominant culture, and broader society' (Weitz 797). This links to the scene as the Kim family are Korean living in an American town where Lane tries to fit in as a normal American teenager by transforming herself into a 90s grunge, punk rocker by dying her hair which goes against her mother's beliefs. Lanes believes altering her physical appearance will make her gain power.

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Media Analysis Essay on ‘The Gilmore Girls’. (2023, November 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 3, 2024, from
“Media Analysis Essay on ‘The Gilmore Girls’.” Edubirdie, 15 Nov. 2023,
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Media Analysis Essay on ‘The Gilmore Girls’ [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Nov 15 [cited 2024 Mar 3]. Available from:
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