Australian Council on Children and the Media

Beauty Shop

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Short takes

Not recommended under 13s, PG to 15 (Sex. Themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Beauty Shop
  • a review of Beauty Shop completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 4 June 2005.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 While there is nothing scary in this movie, due to its sexual references, is not recommended for children under 13. Also the content would be of little interest to children under 13.
Children over the age of 13 Parental guidance is recommended for adolescents aged 13 to 15.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Beauty Shop
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Sexual references
Length 105 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Gina Norris (Queen Latifah) is a popular hair stylist working at Jorge’s Beauty Salon where she is the only black employee. Jorge (Kevin Bacon) is an egotistical, overbearing person who isn’t used to having his orders challenged. Gina doesn’t like being told what to do which leads to friction between the two, and Gina eventually quits her job. She decides to open her own shop, which is something she has always wanted to do. She faces difficulty right from the start, including a revolt by her new staff revolt when she brings in Lynn (Alicia Silverstone), a white girl who also used to work at Jorge’s.

Things start to get moving at Gina’s but when she attracts two of Jorge’s former high society clients, Terri (Andie MacDowell) and Joanne (Mena Suvari), Jorge starts to get nasty. He uses underhand methods to try and force Gina to close her shop. When Gina’s shop gets trashed, she feels defeated and about ready to give up, but her workmates all pitch in and encourage her to keep going.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Racism, bullying

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is a little violence in this movie:

  • James (one of the hairdressers) punches a man who tries to force Gina’s sister-in-law Darlene, into his car.
  • Men threaten Jorge with knives but don’t actually hurt him.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

The men who threaten Jorge are quite intimidating; otherwise there is nothing particularly scary in this movie.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may be scared by the above mentioned scene.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

It is unlikely that children over the age of eight will be scared by anything in this movie.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

It is unlikely that children over the age of thirteen will be scared by anything in this movie.

Product placement

The following products were displayed or used in this movie:

  • Snickers.

Sexual references

There are a lot of sexual references, often quite explicit, amongst the women who work at Gina’s. Sexual references include discussions about:

  • pubic hair
  • men “finding their way in”
  • “tits”
  • a man reaching his climax.
  • Terri buying sex toys to keep her husband Steven happy

There is also an obsession with body image, breast implants, botox, etc.

Also of concern is the depiction of a young lad, Willy, who spends his whole time video recording various parts of women’s anatomy.

James is suspected of being gay but in fact he isn’t.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern.

Use of substances

There is some mild use of substances:

  • drinking of alcohol in a club
  • a mention of legalising marijuana.

 

Coarse language

There is frequent use of the following:

  • bitch
  • arse.

and occasional use of:

  • Jesus
  • Oh my God
  • piss
  • shit
  • screw
  • booty

In a nutshell

The movie’s message is to persevere even in the face of adversity. Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • racial harmony
  • endurance through adversity
  • friendship

The movie’s message is to persevere even in the face of adversity. Values parents may wish to encourage include racial harmony, endurance through adversity and friendship. Parents could use the content of this movie as an opportunity to discuss with their adolescent children the issues of body image and self esteem, and to answer questions raised by the movie’s sexual references.

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