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Girl Power: All Dolled Up

2011
Distributed by Women Make Movies, 462 Broadway, New York, NY 10013; 212-925-0606
Produced by Sarah Blout Rosenberg
Directed by Sarah Blout Rosenberg
DVD, color, 24 min.
Jr. High - General Adult
Adolescence, Gender Studies, Media Studies, Women’s Studies


Reviewed by Kathleen Spring, Nicholson Library, Linfield College, McMinnville, OR

Recommended   
 
Date Entered: 7/13/2012

How did a phrase referring to girls’ ability to do anything boys can do get co-opted by the mainstream media and converted into a marketing tool? This short documentary attempts to answer that question and shine a light on the impact that media and popular culture have on the development of girls’ identities. Director/producer/writer Sarah Blout Rosenberg takes images from television, advertisements, music videos, and other pop culture venues and intersperses them with interviews with academics and girls to build the case that “girl power” may not be the positive concept the media would have us think. The film examines issues of beauty and appearance, self-concept, identity, power, and role models through a variety of examples, including Disney films, Dora the Explorer, the princess myth, and Bratz dolls. Although it is a perfectly adequate film, Girl Power has plenty of competition from other films in the same vein. It is not significantly distinct from Susan Macmillan’s Girls: Moving Beyond Myth (2004), and the short documentary What a Girl Wants (2001) is a more compelling film of comparable length. Maria Finitzo’s 5 Girls (2001) and Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s Miss Representation (2011) provide fuller, feature-length treatment of the same subject matter; as such, libraries with these films in their collections may opt to pass on Girl Power