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Encyclopedia > Girl Hero

The book Girl Heroes is a feminist and cultural analysis of the contemporary archetype of the girl hero. Based on the emergence of sexually aware, self controlled, successful, feminine characters (both real, styled, and fictional), Girl Heroes authors the characteristics and cultural function of this new role model. Madonna, The Spice Girls, supermodels, Lara Croft, Samus Aran, Xena, and Buffy are all seen to forge a new idol which informs and inspires pro-active, strong, yet still sexual behaviour in adoring girl, teen and woman fans.

Girl Heroes draws comparisons between these and earlier, similar female characters, such as Charlie's Angels, pointing out the relative independence of this archetype from male, parental, or even peer support.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is Hopkins' indentification of the way in which our sense of self-identity is increasingly registered against the degree to which we exist within the media. This issue extends well beyond feminism, and is one of the most important contributions the book has to make to cultural analysis.


  • Hopkins, Susan. Girl Heroes - The New Force In Popular Culture. Australia: Pluto Press (2002)

  Results from FactBites:
Girl at AllExperts (2361 words)
From birth, girls are a slight minority due to both natural factors (the human sex ratio has been observed since the 1700s as approximately 1,050 boys for every 1,000 girls) and due to sex selection on the part of parents.
Girls are less often encouraged to pursue sports, with the exception of sports that might be considered "feminine," such as figure skating or gymnastics; or those considered "gender-neutral," such as tennis.
Portrayals of girls may reflect their standing in the artists' culture, and a brief overview of different views of girls in different art periods gives a sense of girls' roles in societies around the world and at different points in time.
  More results at FactBites »



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