Soap stars pushed to always look the same

Every evening, from Monday to Friday, the prime time slots on the TV are taken up with soaps. Coronation Street, Eastenders, Emmerdale are the three most popular ones, and such huge exposure has turned their stars into household names. These shows attract literally millions of viewers, the majority of which are women, and they have a huge impact in many people’s lives.

An ideal example of this concerns the actress Pauline Quirke, currently starring in Emmerdale. After always being a larger lady, Pauline has gone on a rigorous diet and lost nearly 6 stone in weight. As she is on the small screen every night bar weekends, it is impossible to ignore the change in her appearance. This has invariably led to stacks of publicity and every magazine and many TV shows are talking about her weight loss.

This is a familiar story for any other females in soaps who change in appearance somehow. If a soap actress has clearly had a cosmetic procedure, of lost lots of weight, or even had a radical haircut, their fans want to know about it. The viewing public empathise with these characters and welcome them into their home like old friends, and often want to copy them in an attempt to improve their lives.