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You Play The Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Princesses, Trainwrecks and Other Man-Made Women

Carina Chocano

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Prose: non-fiction, Cultural studies, Feminism & feminist theory, Gender studies: women

On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Trainwrecks and Other Mixed Messages About Women in Film

We all know who The Girl is. She holds The Hero's hand as he runs through the Pyramids, chasing robots. Or she nags him, or foils him, plays the uptight straight man to his charming loser. She's idealised, degraded, dismissed, objectified and almost always dehumanised. How do we process these insidious portrayals, and how do they shape our sense of who we are and what we can become?

Part memoir, part cultural commentary, part call to arms to women everywhere, You Play The Girl flips the perspective on the past thirty-five years in pop culture - from the progressive 70s, through the backlash 80s, the triumphalist 90s and the pornified 'bro culture' of the early twenty-first century - providing a firsthand chronicle of the experience of growing up inside this funhouse. Always incisive, Chocano brilliantly shows that our identities are more iterative than we think, and certainly more complex than anything we see on any kind of screen.

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Carina Chocano

Carina Chocano is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine and Elle, and her writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Vulture, Wired, Rolling Stone, Details, New York Times Book Review, New Republic, Aeon and others. She was a staff film and TV critic at the Los Angeles Times, a TV and book critic at Entertainment Weekly and a staff writer at Salon. Her work has been anthologised in the New Yorker humour collection Disquiet, Please!, the humour collection More Mirth of a Nation and the essay collections Altared and Borderline Personalities. Her humour book, Do You Love Me, or am I Just Paranoid? was published by Random House.

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