- The makeover and the malleable body in 1980s American teen film
- International Journal of Cultural Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 18 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
This article suggests that 1980s American culture was preoccupied with ideas of bodily transformation. It takes a look at the representation of the teenage girl in makeover montage sequences in 1980s teen films, in order to make three main arguments: (1) these sequences shifted their focus from before-and-after shots to make increasingly visible the transformation process itself, (2) they connected the makeover process to the purchase of consumer goods and services, and (3) by presenting the teen girl’s body as able to actively take on and adapt its performance of femininity, they opened up pockets of agency within a seemingly conservative discourse. The shifts created a filmic environment in which conventional representations of women and girls could slowly begin to evolve.
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