For more than a decade, girl power has been a cultural barometer, reflecting girlhood’s ever-changing meanings. How did girl power evolve from a subcultural rallying cry to a mainstream catchphrase, and what meaning did young girls find in its pop culture forms?
From the riot grrrls to the Spice Girls to The Powerpuff Girls, and influenced by books like Reviving Ophelia and movements like Take Our Daughters to Work Day, the book Growing Up With Girl Power by Rebecca Hains charts this history. It considers how real girls who grew up with girl power interpreted its messages about empowerment, girlhood, strength, femininity, race, and more, and suggests that for young girls, commercialized girl power had real strengths and limitations–sometimes in fascinating, unexpected ways.
Encompassing issues of preadolescent body image, gender identity, sexism, and racism, Growing Up With Girl Power underscores the importance of talking with young girls, and is a compelling addition to the literature on girls, media, and culture.
|Advance Praise for Growing Up With Girl Power “Hains has written a fascinating, scholarly, readable history of the use and abuse of the term ‘girl power.’ This book is absolutely essential for anyone interested in girlhood, feminism or media.”
– Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter
“Rebecca Hains’s insightful new book offers a critical engagement with a significant aspect of the cultural history of girlhood studies. Feminist studies more broadly, and girl-method in particular, will benefit from the careful ‘recent history’ analysis of girl power provided by Hains. As such, the book will be a welcome addition to the curriculum of girlhood studies courses, serving as it does as a model for methodologies for working with girls, for carrying out textual readings, and for theorizing from the ground up. For scholars in the area of girlhood studies, the book stands out as one that is well researched and thoughtfully presented.”
– Claudia Mitchell, James McGill Professor, McGill University; Editor of Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal