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Jewesses with Attitude

"Jewesses with Attitude" gets a makeover

The team at JWA is excited to share the results of our quick and dirty Jewesses with Attitude makeover! We love the updated look and the new and improved functionality of the blog. Now you can click on authors' names to see their bios and previous posts and enjoy browsing our content using tags. (We still have a ways to go tagging the older content, but we're working on it!) This morning we announced the redesign on Twitter, and were delighted to hear from Sarah Mulhern of @On1Foot_ Jewish Texts for Social Justice, who said: "Congrats, @jwaonline, on the redesign! New look, same smart content." Of course, that got me thinking. How can I call this redesign a "makeover" without exploring the loaded nature of the concept?

From the Cinderella to My Fair Lady to Pretty Woman to Clueless, the makeover plot is one we know well. Meet the intelligent, interesting woman with a heart of gold. Sadly, her glasses and uncombed hair make her invisible or undatable. So she meets someone - could be a friend, a love interest or a fairy godmother - who gives her a makeover. With straightened hair, contact lenses, and a tight red dress, her outer beauty finally matches her inner beauty and the man of her dreams realizes that it's been her all along and they live happily ever after. In a mansion. Or, as in this spoof from the highly underrated TV show Clone High, a totally cool looking girl is made over into a mixture of "sex fantasy" styles including "hot chick," sexy nurse, sexy cyborg, and sexy vampire and ends up looking like a hot mess.

Obviously, the makeover concept is troubling. It suggests that inner beauty is well and good, but until you achieve dominant standards of outer beauty, you wont find love or happiness. Not very feminist, to be sure. So why are we calling our blog redesign a makeover?

When we're talking about people, it's problematic to make the argument that one's appearance does, or should, affect how one's message is accessed, perceived, or interpreted. But luckily that argument is a lot simpler to make when we're talking about web design. With the new look, we feel like Jewesses with Attitude's outer beauty better represents the "inner beauty" of its content. The new design changes will also help improve functionality. (We didn't remove the girl's glasses to make her prettier; we gave her x-ray specs so she could fight crime!)

In celebration of the new design, we're launching a little promotion. Blog about what Jewesses with Attitude means to you and receive a prize from the gang at JWA.

Thanks so much for being a part of this community. If you would like to give back and ensure a future for Jewesses with Attitude and more "smart" programming from JWA, test out the new "Donate now" button top right.

How to cite this page

Jewesses With Attitude. ""Jewesses with Attitude" gets a makeover." 29 August 2011. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on November 1, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/jewesses-with-attitude-gets-makeover>.

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Baby Frida, meet Baby RBG. Happy Halloween! http://t.co/SaJRONVtZG
20 hr
A fascinating look at how women's voices affects how they're perceived http://t.co/5Lkk4zuKvD @takeleadwomen @Listen4aChange
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#TBT One of the most strikingly beautiful women ever onscreen was also one of the smartest http://t.co/a7f2d5lNxA http://t.co/i429fBQ8i6