From domestic goddess to desperate housewife, What a Girl Wants? explores the importance and centrality of postfeminism in contemporary popular culture. Focusing on a diverse range of media forms, including film, TV, advertising and journalism, Diane Negra holds up a mirror to the contemporary female subject who finds herself centralized in commodity culture to a largely unprecedented degree at a time when Hollywood romantic comedies, chick-lit, and female-centred primetime TV dramas all compete for her attention and spending power. The models and anti-role models analyzed in the book include the chick flick heroines of princess films, makeover movies and time travel dramas, celebrity brides and bravura mothers, 'Runaway Bride' sensation Jennifer Wilbanks, the sex workers, flight attendants and nannies who maintain such a high profile in postfeminist popular culture, the authors of postfeminist panic literature on dating, marriage and motherhood and the domestic gurus who propound luxury lifestyling as a showcase for the 'achieved' female self.
Diane Negra is Professor of Film Studies and Screen Culture at University College Dublin. She is author of Off-White Hollywood: American Culture and Ethnic Female Stardom, editor of The Irish in Us: Irishness, Performativity and Popular Culture and co-editor of A Feminist Reader in Early Cinema and Interrogating Postfeminism: Gender and the Politics of Popular Culture.
1: Introduction 2: Postfeminism, Family Values, and the Social Fantasy of the Hometown 3: Time Crisis and the New Postfeminist Life Cycle 4: Postfeminist Working Girls: New Archetypes of the Female Labor Market 5: Hyperdomesticity, Self-Care and the Well-Lived Life in Postfeminism