This book looks back to the early days of new and social media, to examine the potential threat that such technologies and platforms posed to the mainstream corporate media’s gatekeeping, and its ability to exploit, humiliate, and even violate famous women.
Drawing on her own experiences working as part of this gatekeeping system, Stephanie Patrick argues that, in order to combat this threat, the mainstream media doubled down on gendered narratives of meritocracy that legitimized certain (male) celebrities over others. Using a range of case studies spanning "old" media sites and "new," including Disney, Playboy, and reality television, this book demonstrates that sexual exploitation and violation could be considered constitutive of female celebrity, rather than a side effect. Patrick’s case studies include some of America’s most (in)famous celebrities, including Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan, Anna Nicole Smith, Paris Hilton, and Donald Trump, urging readers to question their assumptions about these figures and their public trajectories.
This nuanced exploration of patriarchal capitalism and women’s ongoing sexual exploitation by the media will be an important reference for scholars and students of digital and new media, journalism, celebrity studies, and gender studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Part One: Old Media, Girl Power 2. Disney Girl… Interrupted: The "Leaking" Sexuality of Girl Stars 3. Playmates and Centerfolds: Nostalgic White Femininity and Post-Feminist "Success" Part Two: New Media, Old Power 4. Celebrity in Crisis: Reality Television and Sex Tape Stardom 5. Neoliberal Success Stories: Trump(‘s) Women and Apprentices 6. Conclusion
Stephanie Patrick is a former casting associate for film and television productions in Montreal, Canada. She obtained her PhD from the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies. Her work has been published in Feminist Media Studies, Television & New Media, and Media, Culture & Society.