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Vanna White Research Paper

Her gown glowed as she swayed across the stage. Her dazzling smile exposed her white teeth that glistened in the stage lights. The amazed audience sat mesmerized by her stage presence. No introduction was needed; every viewer already knew her name. Each taping showcased her ongoing enthusiasm as she revealed letter after letter. As the most well-known background celebrity, Vanna White has fascinated fans since 1982, when she was first hired on the Wheel of Fortune as a hostess. By 1986 the show had picked up 30 million viewers, and by 1999 the number raised to about 40 million viewers.

Although her popularity peaked from the mid to late 1980s, after thirty-five years, she is still an iconic figure in our pop culture. After her first appearance on the Wheel of Fortune, the nation was immediately struck with “Vannamania”. Grandparents, parents and kids all became obsessed with her addition to the show. She is often mocked for her limited acting capability. Since she does not have a speaking role on the show, she is often referred to as a “clotheshorse”. Every show, she has an endless wardrobe that keeps her from wearing a dress more than once. In total she has worn more than 6,500 dresses.

In her autobiography, she expresses how each outfit she wears affects her fan mail, they either contain a compliment or a complaint. She says that some of her clothes are Gucci, but “most items retail for between $60 and $150 dollars each…” (White 10) White has a passion for fashion and it is obviously translated in her 80s fashion tips. Within all of her fame White did not have an extremely glamorous life. White was born in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Her parents got divorced when she was an infant and she was raised by her mother and stepfather. Up until she was about fourteen years old she had no knowledge of her birth father.

Once her mother told her, they, her younger brother, mother and White, visited her birth father in New York City. She briefly describes encountering her birth father, but she does not put a lot of emphasis on it. She considers her step father to be her dad. White was raised with her parents being open and honest with her about how the world works and regarding situations regarding substance use. They taught good morals, decision making skills and how to value themselves as a whole. Although she grew up during a time when most people were drinking and getting into drugs, she never had a desire to.

School was one of the many things that she approached with enthusiasm and this contributed to her perfect attendance. She passed her classes with ease, but she did not view school as something she wanted to pursue farther. She often spent most of her time on extracurricular activities instead of school work. Since she grew up in a small town, most of her classmates never had any dreams that went beyond having a family. White, on the other hand, had other priorities. She wanted to become a model and to pursue this career she attended Atlanta School of Fashion in Atlanta, Georgia.

The concept of going to school for another four years did not appeal to her, so she thought a fashion school would be a better choice for her career path. While in college she became involved in a serious relationship that lasted about four years. She was proposed to but turned him down. She loved him but made the decision to move to LA to see how far her modeling career could go. Modeling had taken off for her in Atlanta but she wanted to become more successful. Once in LA, she struggled as a model like most people. The model is only as successful as the agent representing them and having a good agent makes or breaks a career.

The issue with the agents is how strict their criteria is. White visited the top modeling agent, but since she is only five six, she was turned down immediately. Rejection happened often but it never stopped her. Of course she battled with self-doubt at some points but she never let it ruin her motivation. Hollywood is very focused on physical appearance and a lot of women get sucked into modeling jobs that are more revealing than they originally planned for. White was approached by a company who wanted her to pose for them but she turned them down multiple times because she felt it compromised her values.

Despite society’s constant tug on women and men’s clothing, she managed to escape their grasp. In her autobiography she speaks about being happy in the body that everyone has. In the same section, she gives dieting tips which contradicts having body positivity. She leads off her argument for dieting by saying, “there’s no reason why you have to eat three meals a day. ” (4) She promotes skipping meals and talks about constantly watching the scale. She even goes on to make suggestions from her own experience, “If I see that I’ve put on a pound or two, I cut way back until the weight’s gone.

The book was written in the 80s, but the fact that she is promoting the use of eating disorder behaviors shows how screwed up our society is. Not everyone who uses these behaviors develops an eating disorder but a lot of them lay in people who do. She does mention that she typically has a big appetite, but the issue is the thought process of thinking and feeling fat. Just by reading her tips on how to keep a slim figure shows the reasoning behind the development of eating disorders. White had a lot of influence on many types of people and the fact that she promoted the use of certain behaviors that become addictive too many people.

That being said, she does mention that it is okay to treat yourself and have a “forbidden” food every so often. It still does not make up for the impact she has on her viewers and readers of all sizes. There are two sides of our society nowadays. One side is body positive and encouraging women to be comfortable in their own bodies. But on the other side, there is a steady flow of dieting, weight loss and achieving the “perfect thinness. ” Even though there is a viewpoint that promotes healthy bodies, it is always outshined by the undeniable desire to be thin.

Beauty magazines target women and pushes the need to look good for a man on them. There is not an article that passes by that does not have something to do with making our bodies look good for a man. Our society is so focused on the outward appearance that it drives women to hate their bodies and feel worthless without a man validating their appearance. On the flip side, men also have to fight stereotypes and the feeling of having to have a flat stomach and a muscular frame to be attractive to women. The media oversexualizes and puts too much emphasis on how we look.

We mostly see it from the models in magazines and commercials, but everyone involved in the media is affected by it. White is a perfect example because she is not in the lime light and she is still making an impression. White was very close with her mother throughout her entire childhood. “Momma”, as White was referred to her, was diagnosed with lung cancer and it eventually took her life. Her health started out okay, considering her diagnosis, but after a short period of time, she had to be hospitalized. The cancer had spread from her lungs to her other organs including her brain.

In her final moments, she was laughing like a teenager and did not seem to be in any pain. Once she passed, she was cremated and her ashes were sprinkled along the shore, just as “Momma” requested. Understandably, this hit White hard. Everything seemed to remind her of her mother. As each day passed, it became easier, but it still hits her hard every day. After her mother passed, White met the love of her life John Gibson. He was an actor and a dancer at Chippendale’s. White expressed how she was not ecstatic about him continuing to work at Chippendale’s but he loved it so much that she could never tell him to stop.

They fell in love and within three months they had moved in together. Once their relationship became more serious, Gibson stopped working at Chippendale’s. White described how Gibson became tired of show business and he did not like how inconsistent it was. He became interested in piloting and decided to become certified. This lead to him flying with his friends or by himself. Gibson found a lot of joy while flying, but on May 17, 1986, John was involved in a major plane crash while flying. Gibson was controlling a small plane and had landed it successfully once, but he had more time before he had to return the plane.

So, he decided to get more practice in, he took off, and just as he was getting ready to come in for a landing again, another plane landed. The wind that was caused by the bigger plane knocked Gibson’s plane out of the air and he lost control. It, then, crashed straight down towards the ground while the plane was on fire. Thankfully, no one else was harmed in the crash, but he did not survive it. His body was burned to the point of being unrecognizable. The only thing that determined that it was him were his dental records. White was devastated. The love of her life was killed and she struggled to overcome how abruptly his life ended.

She often asked people if they thought he had suffered, but the reassurance of her loved ones was not helpful. When she returned to work at Wheel of Fortune everyone made sure to not mention her loved one. She says that the Wheel of Fortune was one of the main things that helped her move past her grief and be able to handle it. Eventually, she was able to fall in love again and in 1990 she married George San Pietro. They had two kids, Nicholas (1992) and Giovanna (1997). But, in 2002, they got a divorce. They have maintained a decent relationship for the sake of their kids.

After the divorce, she was engaged to Michael Kaye, but a year after being engaged, they called off the wedding. Since then, White has been in some relationships, but she is currently not married. Throughout her career as a professional model, actress and now hostess on Wheel of Fortune, she has managed to stay under the radar. Instagram has verified her, but she only has about fifteen thousand followers and of those fifteen thousand, only about 300 of them like her pictures. And of the 300 that like, only about twenty-five to forty comment as well. Considering how well known she is, those numbers are very small.

While scrolling through those comments, none of them are anything but sweet and heartwarming. None of them are anything that is normally seen on social media. She has been able to maintain a good image while standing in the public eye with society’s screwed up views. I admire how well she has kept herself together, even with a couple photographer incidents. She has always held her head high. Everyone knows who Vanna White is or has some sort of idea about her no matter how old they are. And I believe that that accomplishment deserves an enthusiastic applause.

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