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Girls’ Sexualities and the Media

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Edited By Kate Harper, Yasmina Katsulis, Vera Lopez and Georganne Scheiner Gillis

This anthology provides exciting, innovative research focused on the construction of adolescent girls’ sexuality in the media. The volume includes a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives from the humanities and the social sciences, addressing how girls and others respond to, work with, and even resist prevailing media representations of girls’ sexualities and how they use contemporary media as a form of sexual expression.
The authors consider a wide array of sexual attitudes, behaviors, and expressions not commonly seen in the sexualities literature, including the voices of «other» girls whose voices are often ignored, particularly racial/ethnic minority and indigenous girls, sexual minorities, and girls from non-U.S. settings. The use of ethnographic data, in conjunction with media analysis techniques, provides a unique approach to the media studies genre, which tends to highlight an analysis of media content, as opposed to the ways in which media is used in everyday life.
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11 “Chongas” in the Media: The Ethno-Sexual Politics of Latina Girls’ Hypervisibility

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“Chongas” in the Media: The Ethno-Sexual Politics of Latina Girls’ Hypervisibility

Jillian Hernandez

Often described by Latin@s in South Florida as a low-class, slutty, tough, and crass young woman, the hypervisible figure disparagingly labeled as a “chonga” is practically invisible in queer theory, media studies, and feminist scholarship. Representations of chonga girls such as the widely viewed YouTube video “Chongalicious” mock young Latina women who don tight clothing, heavy lip liner, and large hoop earrings. In this chapter I examine the sexual politics of visual representations of chongas across media such as contemporary art, YouTube, and print/broadcast outlets. How do the varying forms of production, circulation, and reception that attend these media produce and reflect discourses about Latina girls’ sexuality? How does the chonga come to signify and embody tropes regarding Latina girls’ hypersexuality?

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