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Extraordinarily Ordinary: Us Weekly and the Rise of Reality Television Celebrity
by Erin A. Meyers
Rutgers University Press, 2020
Paper: 978-0-8135-9942-7 | Cloth: 978-0-8135-9943-4 | eISBN: 978-0-8135-9946-5
Library of Congress Classification PN1992.8.R43M49 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 791.45750922

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Extraordinarily Ordinary offers a critical analysis of the production of a distinct form of twenty-first century celebrity constructed through the exploding coverage of reality television cast members in Us Weekly magazine. Erin A. Meyers connects the economic and industrial forces that helped propel Us Weekly to the top of the celebrity gossip market in the early 2000s with the ways in which reality television cast members fit neatly into the social and cultural norms that shaped the successful gossip formulas of the magazine. Us Weekly’s construction of the “extraordinarily ordinary” celebrity within its gossip narratives is a significant symptom of the broader intensification of discourses of ordinariness and the private in the production of contemporary celebrity, in which fame is paradoxically grounded in “just being yourself” while simultaneously defining what the “right” sort of self is in contemporary culture. 
 
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