Alternative Femininities: Body, Age and Identity / Edition 1

Alternative Femininities: Body, Age and Identity / Edition 1

by Samantha Holland
     
 

ISBN-10: 1859738087

ISBN-13: 9781859738085

Pub. Date: 09/04/2004

Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

Imagine a world where the oppressive, over-feminized images of women from advertising, television, films, and magazines have re-armed themselves with army boots, body modifications, and flamboyant hair. Is this just another fairy tale, and if so, why can't it be a reality? In Alternative Femininities, Samantha Holland unpacks the myth of model womanhood and considers

Overview

Imagine a world where the oppressive, over-feminized images of women from advertising, television, films, and magazines have re-armed themselves with army boots, body modifications, and flamboyant hair. Is this just another fairy tale, and if so, why can't it be a reality? In Alternative Femininities, Samantha Holland unpacks the myth of model womanhood and considers how a particular group of real women define and practise 'femininity'. These women, who see themselves as 'alternative', modify and subvert popular images of femininity. The choices they make in clothing, appearance and body modifications enable them to construct a personal look that is intimately tied to self-identity. Getting the balance right between over-femininity and not being feminine enough is a frequently voiced concern. Holland also addresses head-on the much-neglected issue of how ageing impacts on notions of femininity. What do these women think about fashion, gender and appearance as they grow older and less visible in our media-dominated society? Do they choose to tone down or stay 'out there', and what motivates their choice? A revealing look at contemporary femininity, Alternative Femininities gives voice to a previously silent group of women who struggle to resist sexist gender stereotypes, yet age with style, individuality and creativity. By looking at how real women negotiate self-image in an increasingly appearance-conscious society, Holland has provided a much-needed corrective to theoretical accounts of gender and femininity lacking in real data.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781859738085
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date:
09/04/2004
Series:
Dress, Body, Culture Series
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.17(w) x 9.81(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsiv
1Growing Up but Staying 'Freaky': An Introduction1
Methodological Framework2
Theoretical Position3
A Brief Overview of the Empirical Chapters5
2Background Reading7
Femininity7
Fashion Theory14
Subcultural Theory19
Identity and 'Self'29
The Body30
3Negotiating Fluffy Femininities35
What is Femininity?35
'I Am Not a Bit Fluffy'37
Describing Traditional Femininity39
The 'Tools' and How to Use Them44
4How To Be a Fairy Princess53
Fairies at Play54
'My Hair is Everything'59
Commitment: Time and Money65
5Categories of Unconventional71
Bohemian Dress71
Black clothing73
Anti-fashion and Feminism77
Defining 'Alternatives'79
To Compromise or Not To Compromise87
6'More Like Torture than Love'?95
Bodies/Image95
'This is Me!'103
7Defying the Crone?117
Age Catches Up with You117
Policing Yourself ... and Others121
'Toning Down' Your Appearance127
You're as Young as You Feel132
Marking the Occasion135
8Reflections and Conclusions139
Tensions and Paradoxes139
Strategies143
How To Do 'Girly'145
Resisting 'Girly'148
Women Getting Older151
Shifts and Changes155
Notes159
Bibliography165
Appendices
1The 'Nuts and Bolts': Methods179
2Participant Profiles201
3Leaflet Used for Sampling205
4Letter and Forms Given to Participants at the Interview207
5Interview Schedule211
Index213

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