The Construction of Girls' Femininity through the Ukrainian TV Show The Queen of the Ball

in Volume 8 (2015): Issue 1 (Mar 2015): Girlhood Studies in Post-Socialist Times. Guest Editors: Olga Zdravomysolva and Elene Iarskaia-Smirnova
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In this article, I analyze Koroleva Balu, hereafter referred to in English as The Queen of the Ball, a Ukrainian makeover TV show for schoolgirls that showcases girls' competition for the title of Queen during the preparation for their high school prom. A crew of professional stylists assists the participants, creating their personal styles. My focus is on an analysis of the concepts of girls' empowerment through feminine beauty and “femme-ing the normative.” I investigate how gender is constructed by the show as a performative act and how this process corresponds to post-socialist views of beauty and femininity.