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Alternative Femininities : Body, Age and Identity - Samantha Holland

Alternative Femininities

Body, Age and Identity

Paperback Published: 1st June 2004
ISBN: 9781859738085
Number Of Pages: 216

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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.

'This fascinating study explores the experiences of a group of women who adopt a consciously alternative style of dress; and in doing so it unpacks the complex and personal meanings of femininity as they are worked through at the level of body and clothes.' Julia Twigg, Ageing & Society (Journal)

Acknowledgementsp. iv
Growing Up but Staying 'Freaky': An Introductionp. 1
Methodological Frameworkp. 2
Theoretical Positionp. 3
A Brief Overview of the Empirical Chaptersp. 5
Background Readingp. 7
Femininityp. 7
Fashion Theoryp. 14
Subcultural Theoryp. 19
Identity and 'Self'p. 29
The Bodyp. 30
Negotiating Fluffy Femininitiesp. 35
What is Femininity?p. 35
'I Am Not a Bit Fluffy'p. 37
Describing Traditional Femininityp. 39
The 'Tools' and How to Use Themp. 44
How To Be a Fairy Princessp. 53
Fairies at Playp. 54
'My Hair is Everything'p. 59
Commitment: Time and Moneyp. 65
Categories of Unconventionalp. 71
Bohemian Dressp. 71
Black clothingp. 73
Anti-fashion and Feminismp. 77
Defining 'Alternatives'p. 79
To Compromise or Not To Compromisep. 87
'More Like Torture than Love'?p. 95
Bodies/Imagep. 95
'This is Me!'p. 103
Defying the Crone?p. 117
Age Catches Up with Youp. 117
Policing Yourself ... and Othersp. 121
'Toning Down' Your Appearancep. 127
You're as Young as You Feelp. 132
Marking the Occasionp. 135
Reflections and Conclusionsp. 139
Tensions and Paradoxesp. 139
Strategiesp. 143
How To Do 'Girly'p. 145
Resisting 'Girly'p. 148
Women Getting Olderp. 151
Shifts and Changesp. 155
Notesp. 159
Bibliographyp. 165
The 'Nuts and Bolts': Methodsp. 179
Participant Profilesp. 201
Leaflet Used for Samplingp. 205
Letter and Forms Given to Participants at the Interviewp. 207
Interview Schedulep. 211
Indexp. 213
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781859738085
ISBN-10: 1859738087
Series: Dress, Body, Culture (Paperback)
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 1st June 2004
Publisher: BERG PUBL INC
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.32 x 15.7  x 1.25
Weight (kg): 0.35