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Fashioning Female Identity

The emphasis of a woman’s appearance as a means of fashioning an identity in literature, art, film, or TV. Discuss and explore the ways in which fashion and consumer culture influence individual self-creation (whether it be in literature, film, etc.). Female beauty and self-confidence are consistently linked to male attention in literature, and this “beauty” that attracts the men is, most of the time, some kind of physical beauty. This topic would analyze how beauty is equated with physical appearance (meaning possession of expensive commodities and attractive body shape) and how a woman’s level of attractiveness is often linked to the status, price and brand, of her clothing and commodities in literature, film, or TV. Furthermore, discuss the idea that women’s appearances are emphasized and linked to consumer culture and often times used as a means of connection to wealth and status in literature, TV, film, or any other form of art/ popular culture.

  • This could be particularly interesting to talk about this in regards to literature, as a woman's appearance isn't seen but described. – Marcie Waters 6 years ago
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  • This sounds like a good topic. Some examples of female fashion could be Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Agent Carter. Or the writer could look at how the three women in Big Bang Theory all look very different and how their outfits express their character for TV and how their outfits have evolved over time and the impact of their attractiveness on relationships. One interesting aspect is the recurring theme of attractive women. Munjeera – Munjeera 6 years ago
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  • Nice topic. When reading it though, I thought about female characters who the author describes as plain (i.e., Jane Eyre) or who say themselves they aren't pretty (i.e., Sara Crewe). Are such heroines really unattractive, or are we meant to pooh-pooh such statements and say they're pretty anyway? In describing such characters as plain or ugly, do the authors privilege inner beauty, or are they just feeding appearance obsession more? – Stephanie M. 5 years ago
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