Media & Communication
The Love Triangle on Teen TV: Gender, Postfeminism, and Choice
My paper analyzes the love triangle on two contemporary teen television programs, Awkward and The Vampire Diaries. I specifically look at the ideas the triangles communicate about female choice, femininity, and masculinity. Scholars argue that postfeminism offers women an illusory version of choice, granting women false agency in lieu of feminist politics. Through textual analyses of Awkward and The Vampire Diaries, I argue that the programs differ in their representations of female agency. While Awkward is mired in postfeminist media culture and presents its female protagonist with false choice, The Vampire Diaries subverts the individualistic and traditionally gendered notions of postfeminist choice. Through framing television as an agent of socialization and touching upon the fervor that the love triangle inspires in audiences, the significance of this particular narrative dynamic is illuminated.