Not really glowing about ‘Glow’: Feisty analysis in under 250 words

It’s Friday and I’m feeling a little feisty, so I thought I would kick off a visual analysis / media critique series. As an academic, a lot of what I do is boring, long, and involves words like concatenation. Way too much work for a Friday.

Instead, I thought I would offer a pithy (the academic term for “smart-a$$ed”) critique of an image that caught my fancy. To keep it short and to the point, I decided I would keep it to 250 words or less. After all, we all need challenges. Or rules. And as a professor with a decade of life inside the academy, there are few things I like more than a challenge with rules (otherwise known as tenure).


Killer critique in 250 words or less:

Today’s text – Netflix’s ad for Glow (a TV series about female wrestlers, which rides the line between camp and stereotypes gone wild).

Promo picture for Glow, a Netflix TV series.
Promo picture for Glow, a Netflix TV series.

2 sexy white chicks in front. Obvs intended focus. Sexxxy outfits. Sexxxy hair shows they don’t really get in on the fighting action. Body language is utterly unconvincing – stance lacks tension and form, meaning that they can pose, but not fight. They’re hawt tho. And maybe there will be hair pulling? That’s also hawt.

White old dude behind the star duo is the brains/muscle/coach. He’s wearing a polo shirt, and has crossed arms. Glaring at the viewer to establish dominance and authority. Nothing better than an old white dude telling to hot chicks how to duke it out. Charlie’s Angels FTW. Bonus for porn-style ‘stache and bossy creeper vibe.

African-American woman in back left looks fierce. But let’s not feature her, because she’s black and not skinny. African-American woman in back right is even fiercer. She has legit fight skills. And dreds. Nice crotch shot, btw. Anyone else notice the white ladies upfront get to have polite sexuality? As opposed to the wild African-American woman.

Built white woman in back right looks like she has some legit skillz in the ring. She has her fists up in a decent approximation of a fight stance, and she has a fierce face (opposed to a sexxxy-fierce face). She also has her hair in braids to keep it out of her eyes when fighting, so clearly a practical choice. But let’s keep her in the back because she doesn’t conform to Hollywood norms about beautiful bodies.

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