Introduction: Into the Makeover Maze
1  By  most accounts, makeover programming as we now experience it began 
in the United States with the home renovation show Trading Spaces in 
2000, a variation on the British Changing Rooms (1996–2004), though other 
shows, such as This Old House (1979–present), had been creating miracle 
transformations for more than a decade. For an extensive list of shows, see 
the videography that appears at the end of this book.
2  For more on tv and identity, see Gay Hawkins “The Ethics of Television”; 
Annette Hill, Reality tv; Anthony Giddens, Modernity and Self-Identity; and 
Frances Bonner, Ordinary Television.
3  Ladies Home Journal, January 2007.
4  Feminist debates about the meanings and implications of plastic surgery 
are rich and varied. For helpful surveys, as well as provocations to existing 
scholarship, see Victoria Pitts-Taylor, Surgery Junkies: Cressida Heyes, Self-
Transformations: Meredith Jones, Skintight: and Suzanne Fraser, Cosmetic
Surgery, Gender and Culture.
5  For more on critical whiteness studies, see David R. Roediger, The Wages
of Whiteness; Alexander Saxton, The Rise and Fall of the White Republic; Toni 
Morrison, Playing in the Dark; Diane Negra, ed., The Irish in Us; Eric L. 
Goldstein, The Price of Whiteness; Matthew Frye Jacobson, Roots Too; Jason 
Sokol, There Goes My Everything; and Winifred Breines, The Trouble between Us.
6  More broadly, might we ask if the “unintelligible subjects” leading 
“unliveable lives” that Butler addresses have already worked to create 
a critical distance from norms that makeover subjects seem eager to 
approximate? Can we thus conclude that desires for recognition between 
“queer subjects” and makeover participants are incommensurate? I don’t 
think so. The makeover’s stark representation indicates that absent the codes 
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