Girl Power's Last Chance? Tavi Gevinson, Feminism, and Popular Media Culture

Jessalynn Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper focuses on Tavi Gevinson, the teenage fashion blogger-turned-editor in chief of the online magazine Rookie, as a case study with which to interrogate the production and circulation of feminist politics within a ‘post-girl power’ era. Drawing on theories of performativity, I employ a discursive and ideological textual analysis of Gevinson’s self-produced media and media coverage to map how she uses the opportunities afforded by digital media to rearticulate narratives of ‘girl power’ and perform a feminist girlhood subjectivity that makes feminism accessible to her many readers. While I argue that Gevinson’s ability to do so is positive and demonstrates the porous nature of postfeminist media culture, I also suggest that we must be critical of the ways in which her feminism functions as part of her self brand that reproduces feminism as white, middle-class, and ‘hip’. Thus, I conclude by questioning a larger cultural trend towards the branding of feminism and advocating the need for an intersectional approach to understanding the resurgence of feminism within contemporary popular media culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-285
Number of pages12
JournalContinuum
Volume29
Issue number2
Early online date19 Mar 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • girl power
  • blogging
  • feminism
  • Tavi Gevinson

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