'Showing the girl' The new burlesque

Ferreday, Debra (2008) 'Showing the girl' The new burlesque. Feminist Theory, 9 (1). pp. 47-65. ISSN 1464-7001

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This paper examines the cultural phenomenon of 'new burlesque', a subculture in which young women take part in striptease performances which invoke the iconic styles and routines associated with mid-20th century cabaret. By reading burlesque websites alongside the celebrity culture and advertising, the article examines how the retro styles of dress and make-up associated with this subculture have circulated through a range of media sites as an alternative mode of femininity. By focusing on the intersections between online fan communities, popular images of burlesque, fashion, and beauty, I argue that burlesque styles involve a reclaiming of traditionally normative sites of identity production and that computer technologies are an extension of the technologies of dress, cosmetics and movements through which femininity is produced. I go on to suggest a re-framing of burlesque as a site of parody and resistance which 'troubles' critiques of femininity within both feminist theory and queer theory.

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Journal Article
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Feminist Theory
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18 Jun 2012 08:42
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 22:24