Course: Girl Culture, Spring 2017
This assignment requires you to complete collaborative work online in groups of three. I suggest you bookmark this page for easy reference during this exercise.
1) Open your email program and create an email to me <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Copy the questions below into this email (you will be summarizing your findings and sending them to me upon completion of this assignment).
2) First, read/view the GIRL CULTURE photo essay.
3) Next: Open another browser window and go to the “Body Identity Issues” section in the Faculty Guide for Lauren Greenfield’s GIRL CULTURE (on the left).
4) As a group, read the sections titled “Body Projects” and “Girls of Color” in addition to *one other section* that your group wants to explore (for example, “Media Messages,” “Social Tyranny,” “Beauty as Power,” “Exhibitionism,” “Sports,” “Unhealthy Bodies and Minds”). Be sure to watch your time here! After viewing and reading each Body Identity Issue page, scroll up to “Discussion Questions” and respond to the questions posed (one group of discussion questions is listed for each theme).
5) Summarize your findings and send me an email about your groups’ discussions and conclusions: email@example.com. This exercise should take an hour.
Group members (list here):
Group-selected Body identity issue:
Discussion questions for “Body Projects” and “Girls of Color”
Image and Text
What do the images and narratives reveal about girls’ “body projects?” What details support your opinions?
The Ideal Female
What is the contemporary feminine ideal? What influences are informing your responses? How would your parents answer this same question?
Lillian, 19 years old states, “I look at my brother. He’s sixteen, and he does not have half the shit floating around in his mind that I did when I was his age. Guys get up, roll out of bed. The farthest my brother ever has to go to get ready is maybe put in some hair gel and wash his face. That’s it. Being a guy, there’s so much less expectation for your looks and for what you wear.” Discuss Lillian’s assertion that there are greater appearance expectations for girls than there are for boys.
What advantage exists for suppliers of “body products” such as makeup, clothing, diet aids, and plastic surgery procedures when girls’ are unhappy about their bodies?
Image and Text
What do the images and narratives reveal about girls of color and body identity issues? What details support your opinions?
Nkechi’s narrative discusses cultural differences between Nigerian and American girls. Discuss her opinion that good looks are more important to American girls. Discuss her opinion that “In African American society, there is a lot of leeway as far as body type.”
The Lure of Hollywood
How has growing up in Los Angeles affected Nkechi’s plans for a professional career? Her parents, who were born in Nigeria, were upset with her decision to stay in Los Angeles for college rather than attend Stanford. Discuss this issue from her perspective and from her parents’ perspectives.
Bridging the Gap
Ruby’s narrative discusses cultural differences between Latina and American girls and how body image is becoming increasingly more important for Latinas. Discuss the causes for this phenomenon and its implications.