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'Showing the girl' The new burlesque

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Feminist Theory
Issue number1
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)47-65
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


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.