Original Date: June 25, 2020
Women in Lagos, Nigeria, practice a spectacularly feminine form of black beauty. From cascading hair extensions to immaculate makeup to high heels, their style permeates both day-to-day life and media representations of women not only in a swatch of Africa but across an increasingly globalized world. Simidele Dosekun’s interviews and critical analysis consider the female subjectivities these women are performing and desiring. She finds that the women embody the postfeminist idea that their unapologetically immaculate beauty signals–but also constitutes–feminine power. As empowered global consumers and media citizens, the women deny any need to critique their culture or to take part in feminism’s collective political struggle. Throughout, Dosekun unearths evocative details around the practical challenges to attaining their style, examines the gap between how others view these women and how they view themselves, and engages with ideas about postfeminist self-fashioning and subjectivity across cultures and class. Intellectually provocative and rich with theory, Fashioning Postfeminism reveals why women choose to live, embody, and even suffer for a fascinating performative culture.
About Dr. Simidele Dosekun
Dr. Simidele Dosekun is an assistant professor in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research centres black African women to explore questions of gender, race, subjectivity, and power in a global context. She is the author of Fashioning Postfeminism: Spectacular Femininity and Transnational Culture (University of Illinois Press, 2020) and co-editor, with Mehita Iqani, of African Luxury: Aesthetics and Politics (Intellect, 2019). Her work has appeared in Feminist Media Studies, Feminism and Psychology, and Feminist Africa, among other journals. She is a member of the editorial collective of Feminist Africa and Feminist Theory.