Cover for Dosekun: Fashioning Postfeminism: Spectacular Femininity and Transnational Culture. Click for larger image

Fashioning Postfeminism

Spectacular Femininity and Transnational Culture

The serious business of being spectacular in Nigeria and the Global South

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.

"This book brilliantly challenges the assumption of whiteness and the Western location of the postfeminist female subject, documenting how postfeminism circulates well beyond the Global North. Dosekun demonstrates a rare sensitivity to place and to the specific norms circulating that space, which, as she underscores, shape the way in which postfeminism is taken up. The arguments are forceful, and the empirical material is handled with great care, sensitivity, and insight."--Catherine Rottenberg, author of The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism

"This brilliantly-executed and theoretically exciting book places its author on the frontlines of radically transnational cultural and feminist theory. Dosekun critically explores the 'unhappy technologies' utilized by women determined to re-invent themselves for themselves, not in New York or London, but in the cultural ferment of the postcolonial African city of Lagos. Fashioning Postfeminism offers an incisive analysis of cosmopolitan elite women's costly psychic and material investment in hyper-feminine artifice in an eternal quest for power and happiness that advances the theorization of 'postfeminist' subjectivity beyond the inherent coloniality of United States and United Kingdom cultural and feminist theories."--Amina Mama, author of Beyond the Masks: Race, Gender and Subjectivity


Simidele Dosekun is an assistant professor in media and communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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