Essay on Coming Of Age : Girl Power Media Culture By Emilie Zaslow

Essay on Coming Of Age : Girl Power Media Culture By Emilie Zaslow

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Feminism Inc. Coming of Age in Girl Power Media Culture by Emilie Zaslow discusses the birth of the 1990s “Girl Power” movement and subsequent social science data, which uncovers the gender bias in the American schooling system as well as at home. More importantly, Zaslow highlights in her research that parents have been “encouraged to select movies with strong female role models for their daughters” and that much of the poisoning of the girl culture is derivative from such a lack of role models for adolescent girls (Zaslow, 19). While Zaslow strongly emphasizes the need for strong female role models she also encounters a dichotomy between the potential positives of media use on young women and also the negative effects, which ultimately “links the crisis in girl’s development to ‘the pressure’ (that) comes from schools, magazines, music, television, advertisements, and movies” (Zaslow, 20). The key points in Zaslow’s argument center around the notion of media and its influence on girls as well as the 1990s girl power era, which is the time period that The To Do List is set. These main concepts prove not only evidence for the appropriate choice for the film’s setting, but also how the protagonist, Brandy, functions to act as a potential role model for women with regards to their sexuality. Zaslow calls to action a rise in strong female role models in media, yet when such an example is created, audiences shy away from accepting this progressive moment in film history.
2. Knowing and Being Known: Sexual Delinquency, Stardom, and Adolescent Girlhood in Midcentury American Film by Michael Todd Hendricks focuses primarily on the sexualization of female child stars during the 1950s, but also provides new insight into the ideologies of ...


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... (10 Thing I Hate About You (Junger, 1999), A League of Their Own (Marshall, 1992), Clueless (Heckerling, 1995), etc.). It is also important to note that the majority of girl power movies from this decade were predominantly directed by women a trait shared with The To Do List, yet disregarded as a selling point for the film. For the purposes of this project, Kearney’s work can be utilized to highlight that “while many contemporary films continue to place female youth in the role of girlfriend or sexual fantasy figure since the early 1990s there has been a significant increase in the number of films about teenage girls that do not privilege heterosexual romance narratives” (Kearney, 130). Although released in 2013 The To Do List embodies the 1990s rise of girl power and Kearney’s work can be coupled together to situate this film as a resurgence of female empowerment.

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