Femininity, post-feminist celebrity and Olympic ‘Role Models’: the case of Victoria Pendleton
This summer, the media were in a constant state of euphoria over Team GB’s success. In the midst of such celebrations, journalists and social commentators fixated on the ‘real’ role models that the Olympics appeared to offer girls and young women. Victoria Pendleton, Jessica Enis and Laura Trott, among others, were held up as ‘authentic’ ‘empowering’ and ‘inspiring’ figures for young female audiences. For example, Girlguiding UK capitalized on the global media spotlight on the Olympic sportswomen’s success to launch their ‘Real Role Models’ campaign. These Olympic heroines have been presented as positive alternatives to the seemingly vacuous Reality TV stars, glamour models and WAG wannabees dominating popular culture.