By Samantha Holland
Think an international the place oppressive, over-feminized media pictures of ladies have re-armed themselves with military boots, physique differences, and flamboyant hair. is that this simply one other fairy story, and if this is the case, why can't it's a truth? Holland unpacks the parable of version womanhood and considers how a bunch of actual girls outline and perform "femininity." How does getting older have an effect on notions of femininity? What do girls take into consideration model, gender, and visual appeal as they get older and not more noticeable in our media ruled society? Do they decide to tone down or remain "out there," and what motivates their selection? replacement Femininities supplies voice to a formerly silent team of ladies who fight to withstand sexist gender stereotypes, but age with kind, individuality and creativity. through taking a look at how actual girls negotiate self-perception in an more and more image-conscious society, Holland presents a corrective to different debts of gender and femininity missing in genuine data.
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Extra info for Alternative Femininities: Body, Age and Identity (Dress, Body, Culture)
28 02 Alt. Femininities 30/4/04 3:16 pm Page 29 Background Reading Identity and ‘Self’ Although earlier academics had studied the ‘self’ (for example, Goffman, 1972; Mead, 1964), a new interest in the subject was ignited as a result of social movements in the 1960s and 1970s, movements based on a range of political issues and academic debates such as feminism, ‘race’ and ethnicity, sexuality and class. The new discourses about self were informed by an awareness of the issue of ‘difference’ (for example, see Woodward, 1997) and diverged along two paths, which can be described, for the sake of definition, as a ‘social theory’ approach (for example, Giddens, 1991; Jenkins, 1994; Kellner, 1995) and a ‘cultural theory approach’ (for example, Butler, 1990, 1993; Hall and du Gay, 1996).
They have less to do with how actual women live, act or dress than how the ideas and notions of womanhood are presented, taught and perpetuated in society – but of course, women do have to conform to certain stereotypes. In these ways women have come to embody certain cultural ideals of femininity (Sciebinger, 2000b) and, as various studies have argued, gender is something which people ‘do’ rather than what they are (Ainley, 1998; Dryden, 1999). These exaggerated traits serve to highlight the elements of masquerade present in ‘femininity’, the constructed nature of gender and the ways in which cultural products and behaviours form a ‘false identity on the surface’ (Wilson, 1992: 8).
For example, ‘some feminist researchers have also argued that the concept of cultural resistance is too narrow and gender specific, since young women might adopt less “visible” forms of resistance or negotiation such as silence or giggling’ (Griffin, 1993: 210). However, for this research, resistance serves as an adequate term not least because many of my participants identified themselves as resisting some aspects of traditional femininity. As Griffin also argues: ‘In the radical perspective, discourses of resistance and survival challenged … negative definition[s] of youthful deviance and … reinforced the notion that subcultures call into question the adequacy of the dominant cultural ideology’ (1993: 125).