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Mediated Girlhoods

New Explorations of Girls’ Media Culture

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Edited By Mary Celeste Kearney

Mediated Girlhoods: New Explorations of Girls’ Media Culture is the first anthology devoted specifically to scholarship on girls’ media culture. Taking a cultural studies approach, it includes analyses of girls’ media representations, media consumption, and media production. The book responds to criticisms of previous research in the field by including studies of girls who are not white, middle-class, heterosexual, or Western, while also including historical research. Approaching girlhood, media, and methodology broadly, Mediated Girlhoods contains studies of previously unexplored topics, such as feminist themes in teen magazines, girlmade memory books, country girlhoods, girls’ self-branding on YouTube, and the surveillance of girls via new media technologies. The volume serves as a companion to Mediated Boyhoods: Boys, Teens, and Young Men in Popular Media and Culture, edited by Annette Wannamaker.

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8 Falling in Love with High School Musical: Girls’ Talk about Romantic Perceptions Shiri Reznik and Dafna Lemish 151

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eIght Falling in Love with High School Musical: Girls’ Talk about Romantic Perceptions Shiri Reznik and Dafna Lemish On inauguration night, January 20, 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michele Obama greeted supporters and danced at various balls in their honor throughout Washington, D.C. At the same time, according to a live report on CNN, their two young daughters, Malia (then 10 years old) and Sasha (7), celebrated this historic event with a group of close friends in their new home, the White House, with a private screening of High School Musical 3 (2008). Given the wide popularity of the High School Musical franchise among tween girls around the world and the ubiquity of Disney products in commercial tween culture, this was a likely choice of entertainment in the celebration enjoyed by the girls and their friends. As a modern version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the first High School Musical movie is a love story between two high-school teens belonging to rival social groups: Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), the popular, handsome, white captain of the basketball team, and Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens), the shy, beauti- ful, and newly arrived Latina student in school who excels in math and science. Together they try out for leading roles in their high school’s musical, despite peer pressure to avoid doing so. Both win their desired roles and they begin to develop a romantic relationship. Their relationship intensifies during the second movie in the series, which portrays the experiences of Troy,...

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