Finding Alternative Girlhoods
This introductory chapter talks about how the media depicts some girls as spectacular while belittling others, and how the book aims to pay analytical attention to the many girls who fall outside a narrow definition of conventional girlhood. Advocating feminism and committed to fighting racism and affirming queerness and LGBTQ identities, the book reconsiders what “spectacular” means and redefines which girls count in that context. As the spectacularization of girlhood takes place within celebrity culture, the book explores how celebrity and girlhood depend on and affect each other by highlighting media's fascination with celebrities and girls, and how discourses of girlhood and celebrity are both about individualism and identity. By acknowledging the dominance of whiteness, femininity, heteronormativity, and their relationship to the can-do/at-risk dichotomy of girlhood, the book engages various feminist media studies methodologies to seek out girls who do not maintain a can-do/at-risk dialectic, otherwise known as alternative or nonnormative.
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