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Spectacular GirlsMedia Fascination and Celebrity Culture$
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Sarah Projansky

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814770214

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814770214.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 23 October 2019

Pint-Sized and Precocious

Pint-Sized and Precocious

The Girl Star in Film History

Chapter:
(p.25) 1 Pint-Sized and Precocious
Source:
Spectacular Girls
Author(s):

Sarah Projansky

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814770214.003.0002

This chapter discusses two primary concerns of the book: first is the need to understand current representations of girls in relation to the past; and second, the theorization of the girl star/celebrity. It presents a girl-focused history of the Hollywood star system—specifically focusing on Tatum O'Neal's emergence as a star in the 1970s—to demonstrate that girls have been important figures in media since at least the early twentieth century. Girls have been more central to the formation and continued existence of the star and celebrity system than previous scholarship has acknowledged. The girl star in fact embodies the star system through both her hyper-whiteness and her status as a scandal: an innocent child caught in the relentless and potentially corrupting sexualized gaze of celebrity culture. The anxious adoration of the girl star is about the scandal of putting the child on display.

Keywords:   girl representations, celebrity girl, Hollywood stars, Tatum O'Neal, hyper-whiteness, celebrity culture

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