Sexy selves: Girls, selfies and the performance of intersectional identities
Number of pages
SourceThe European Journal of Women's Studies, 27, 1, (2020), pp. 41-56
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR CAOS
The European Journal of Women's Studies
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies
Teen girls' 'sexy selfies' have become highly politicised over the last years, and while feminist scholars have comprehensively analysed present day discourses about this topic, research about teen girls' own reflections is still scarce. Studies that did include girls' voices demonstrated how girls’ navigations of sexiness are related to the performance of gender and sexuality. The present article, which is based on ethnographic fieldwork among Dutch young people, contributes to and extends this strand of research by exploring how girls' navigations of sexy selfies are related to the performance of not just gender and sexuality, but also other intersecting axes of social differentiation, including axes that have remained undertheorised such as smartness, maturity and popularity. Through their navigations of sexy selfies, girls perform complex, intersectional identities in interaction with dominant discourses about sexiness, the materiality of their bodies, their social position and the specific context of self(ie)-making practices. Involving this complexity in discussions about sexy selfies can create promising opportunities for interrogating social norms, stereotypes and power inequalities.
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