Gender and Language, Vol 8, No 2 (2014)

Recuperating Feminism, Reclaiming Femininity: Hybrid Postfeminist I-dentity in Consumer Advertisements

Michelle Lazar
Issued Date: 25 Jun 2014


Traditional gender stereotypes of women have been a common feature of consumer advertisements. In response to feminist criticisms against these stereotypical representations, as well as in recognition of a rising population of female wage earners in industrial societies, advertisers have ‘updated’ their representations of women as strong, confident and autonomous. This article analyses the construction of this ‘postfeminist’ femininity in print jewellery advertisements in Singapore, with the aim of showing how it is constituted in terms of a hybrid mix of elements derived from feminism and normative femininity, underscored by neoliberal and consumerist ideologies. Undertaking a multimodal analysis informed by a feminist critical discourse perspective, the article examines, in particular, the emergence of a distinctly pronounced sense of self or ‘I-dentity’ that is characteristic of postfeminist discourse. It is argued that through this hybrid postfeminist I-dentity, advertisers have found a way to reinstall a new normativity that coexists with the status quo.

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DOI: 10.1558/genl.v8i2.205


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