Girl Heroes and Beauty: The Visual Limits of Girl Power
Girls learn from an early age to assess whether girls and women in real life and popular culture meet dominant beauty ideals. Despite being raised with girl power and in the aftermath of widespread girl crisis discourse, the young girls in my study were invested in these practices. Constantly scrutinizing the appearances of girl heroes and the girls and women they knew, they seemed to derive pleasure from this process. As their own bodies matured and developed, however, they turned that critical eye upon themselves—and the experience was anything but pleasurable. Chapter Eight of Growing Up With Girl Power considers girls' reactions to on-screen characters' physical appearances and relates these practices to the girls' self-esteem.
Girls' Drawings from Chapter 8
The above slideshow features girls' drawings from Chapter 8 of Growing Up With Girl Power. To expand and view in full-screen mode, and see each image's title, click the button in the lower right-hand corner. Use the controls to navigate, pause, or resume the slideshow.
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- Pollitt, Katha. (1991). The Smurfette principle. The New York Times Magazine.
Totally Spies: "The Incredible Bulk"
Totally Spies: "Passion Patties"
The Powerpuff Girls: "Twisted Sister"