Posts Tagged ‘Femininity’

Celebrity talk, identity play and growing up

Written by Heather. Posted in News

Play recreation health and wellbeingThrough the CelebYouth research, we have been exploring how celebrity talk is a way that young people play with their identity. Our most recent publication is a book chapter looking at how celebrity provides cultural resources that young people can, as Mary-Jane Kehily and Anoop Nayak put it, “talk with” and “think with’’. In the chapter we give three examples of how young people draw on celebrity as they negotiate and navigate transitions.

In this post Heather provides a taster of the chapter by looking at one of those transitions: age and maturity. We hope that, if you want to read about the other two – gender and sexuality and social status – you’ll encourage a library to buy the book: Play and Recreation, Health and Wellbeing. We are sorry that it’s so incredibly expensive. All our other publications are Open Access and the CelebYouth book (out in 2017) will be an affordable paperback.

Why are test tubes and lipstick a dangerous combination?

Written by Heather. Posted in News

Three years ago the European Union launched a now-infamous video to promote Science called ‘It’s a Girl Thing!’ This 45 second promo looked like a cross between a cosmetics ad and a girl group music video. Within days, the EU responded to the flood of criticism by withdrawing this video from YouTube and rewriting much of the rest of their campaign. Recently, Heather decided to use this video to spark discussion among participants in a science and equity workshop. After scouring YouTube she found just one version of the video remaining. Yet two weeks later it too had been taken down. In this short post she wonders why bubbling test tubes and lipstick propellants remain such a dangerous combination that they need to be censored from our internet commons.

WAGs and Wannabes? Depictions of Girls’ Ambitions in Contemporary British Cinema

Written by Kim. Posted in News

In recent years there has been increasingly widespread debate about the ‘appropriateness’ of young people’s ambitions within areas such as the media, politics and education. In this blog post Sarah Hill looks at narratives of femininity and aspiration in the British film Kicks, exploring how the film deals with the classed and gendered nature of dominant notions of girls’ aspirations and success in the twenty-first century.

Gender and the Great British Bake Off

Written by Kim. Posted in News

One is not born, but rather one becomes a woman – Simone de Beauvoir, 1953

This well-known assertion of Simone de Beauvoir, pointing toward the social and cultural mores that form and regulate an individual as a ‘woman’, is especially apt in light of the controversy surrounding the finalists of BBC2’s Great British Bake Off. The three female finalists have been variously castigated for being too miserable, too opinionated, too confident and too feminine. The repeated characterisations of the women in terms of inflexible, binary gender roles, alongside the criticisms of them for either failing to live up to these or – bizarrely – for adhering to them too closely, invites further analysis of the presentation of womanliness and femininity in the media. Moreover, the presence in the criticism of underlying suspicions regarding the race and class status of the women finalists demonstrates the increasing need for more fine-grained examinations of how we approach the still-troubling and troublesome category of ‘woman’. In this co-authored blog post, CelebYouth’s Kim and guest blogger Sarah Burton discuss the relationship between the structural context of GBBO and the individual presentations of gender therein, with a particular focus on the interactions between media, Britishness and public space.

Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model: A review

Written by Heather. Posted in News

Last week Laura and Heather went to see performance artist Bryony Kimmings‘ latest show Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model (CLSRM), a collaboration with her amazing 9 year-old niece Taylor Houchen, in which she explores the growing tween industry and how ‘children are manipulated into becoming prematurely sexualised consumers’. We went with a few anxieties: we’d enjoyed talking with Bryony as our and her projects developed, including as part of a panel she organised on ‘The Age of Celebrity‘, but worried that our research had made us hypercritical of any and all representations of young people’s relationships to popular culture and celebrity. Our anxieties were misplaced, as Bryony’s found a way to capture the complexity of tweenage girlhood including showing how media savvy young people are and what adult desires are mixed up in our construction of children as innocent and in need of our protection. The show is moving, entertaining and thought-provoking and the best thing we can recommend is that you find a way to go and see it yourself. But in this post we’ll talk about a few of our impressions of the show (warning- including some spoilers).

Class and femininity: From tween girls to white trash celebrities

Written by Kim. Posted in Featured, News

Two key themes emerged for us from the Gender, Media and Generation conference. In another post we explore how race and masculinity were absent presences throughout the day, and in a final short post reflect on working as feminist scholars in contemporary climate of academia. In this post we explore what speakers had to say about social class and femininity and how this relates to our own research.

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