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Are Super Girls Super for Girls? Rebecca C. Hains, Ph.D. Salem State College, Massachusetts, USA.

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Presentation on theme: "Are Super Girls Super for Girls? Rebecca C. Hains, Ph.D. Salem State College, Massachusetts, USA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Are Super Girls Super for Girls? Rebecca C. Hains, Ph.D. Salem State College, Massachusetts, USA

2 Background

3 Girl Power suggests… Girls are strong and capable Playing with femininity can be empowering Supports all things that are girlish

4 But, Girl Power therefore… Capitulates to dominant ideas about femininity Is progressive and regressive at the same time

5 Girl Power Cartoons

6 Girl Power is in dialogue with…

7 Research Fieldwork in suburbs of major east coast U.S. city Two groups of girls: African-American Caucasian Girls ages 8-11 Individual interviews Regular group interviews in after-care programs Talked with girls’ family members, educators Used feminist cultural studies perspective

8 Physical Appearance On Screen Kylie: “She looked ugly. Her muscles made her ugly and her voice made her sound ugly.” A girl named Alex (Totally Spies) becomes muscular in the episode “The Incredible Bulk”

9 Physical Appearance On Screen Zoe: “I think they looked weird because how small the wings were, and how high their socks were…” One of the characters on Disney’s W.I.T.C.H.

10 Physical Appearance On Screen Blossom (Powerpuff Girls) gets a REALLY bad haircut in “The Mane Event”

11 Physical Appearance On Screen Clover (left, Totally Spies) gets REALLY fat in “Passion Patties” Angela: “They shouldn’t have opened their mouth so they wouldn’t eat any cookies and they wouldn’t get fat.”

12 Are lessons just for little kids? Angela: “The cartoons I watch don’t have a point to the show. [They’re not like] The Wiggles.”

13 Are lessons just for little kids? KYLIE: “The lesson is never to go into somebody else’s lab, and don’t create something that’s dumb.” The story of Bunny, the fourth Powerpuff Girl, is supposed to teach a lesson: don’t judge people too quickly.

14 Physical Appearance in Everyday Life

15

16 ANGELA: “I want to be like my dad, because he’s skinny, but he eats so much—I don’t ever see him eat any fruit—or vegetables. But he’s so skinny.” LEFT: What Angela wishes she looked like. RIGHT: What Angela thinks she looks like.

17 Physical Appearance in Everyday Life Kylie’s drawing

18 Physical Appearance in Everyday Life

19 Contact Rebecca C. Hains Salem State College 352 Lafayette St. Salem, Massachusetts, USA


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