Publication Date

Fall 2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Jay A. Johnson

Subject Areas

Mass Communications.; Gender Studies.; Recreation.


The purpose of the study was to examine the media's representations of sport-celebrity couple singer-actress, Jessica Simpson and Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, Tony Romo. One hundred magazine and 100 newspaper articles published between December 17, 200, that coincided with the first publicized notion of the "Jessica Simpson jinx" and April 15, 2009, were qualitatively analyzed. The investigation revealed the prevailing dominant ideologies of patriarchal structures, traditional gender roles, hegemonic masculinity and deviance, while underscoring the mass media's ubiquitous characteristics. The literature emphasized the mass media's representation of the celebrity and the media's habitual employment of gossip and rumor linguistics to frame the narratives surrounding Simpson and Romo, both autonomously and collectively. The study uncovered typologies that mirror the archetypal sporting partnership: Simpson's polarized physical attributes, her feminine position as a "supporter," her function as an "antagonist" (i.e., the femme fatale, Yoko Ono), and Romo's position as a hegemonic male and a victim. Through the development of the above themes, the researcher sought to illustrate the concepts of villanization and victimization in the mass media, where Simpson was portrayed unfavorably and Romo was portrayed favorably suggesting the need to maintain the patriarchal order while restraining female dominance.