The social media feeds of Loose Women: Taking the temperature of popular feminism

Ruth Garland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Like other manifestations of popular feminism, ITV’s live, daily discussion show Loose Women seeks to raise its visibility through a cloud of commercialized activity on social media. This thematic content analysis of a year’s worth of programming (more than 100 hours of television), together with its associated presence on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, examines to what extent Loose Women as a multi-media brand “enables some women to have spectacular visibility, while others are obscured and eclipsed” (Banet-Weiser, 2018, p31). Does digital interaction with its audiences mitigate the huge asymmetries characteristic of television, or do such forms of ‘deep mediatization’ perpetuate or intensify existing inequalities (Couldry & Hepp, 2017)? Among the themes explored in the analysis are ageing, ‘ordinary’ celebrity (Jermyn, 2012), showbiz culture, body image and the beauty myth (Dolan, 2014), and the creeping commercialization of screen content. Particular focus is directed at the representation of ‘ageing anxiety’ in the context of cosmetic surgery and the digital manipulation of image.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender
Subtitle of host publicationRepresentation, Engagement and Expression in the Digital Sphere
EditorsBarbara Mitra
PublisherRowan and Littlefield
Publication statusIn preparation - 1 Oct 2020


  • representation
  • popular feminism
  • Television


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