‘Wham! Bam! Thank You Ma’am!’: The New Public/Private Female Action Hero



The vocabulary of images and labels of the new female action hero is gaining cultural currency.1 Images of girls ‘kicking ass’ proliferate in magazines such as Cosmogirl and in the fashioning of thongs and baby t-shirts, while television provides us with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dark Angel, She Spies and Alias. As Susan Hopkins describes, the gender of mass-mediated heroism — and its means of production and consumption — are changing:

the new girl hero has entered virtually every sphere of male power. The girl of today’s collective dreams is a heroic over-achiever — active, ambitious, sexy and strong. She emerges as an unstoppable superhero, a savvy supermodel, a combative action chick, a media goddess, a popstar who wants to rule the world. Popular culture has never been so pervasively girl-powered. (1)


Popular Culture Boot Camp Action Film Double Jeopardy Action Movie 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2004

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