Emergent femininities and masculinities in 21st century media and popular culture

In the past few years, and in the aftermath of movements like #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite and the proliferation of celebrity culture, the call for greater diversity (either in terms of body aesthetics, disability, racial representation or sexuality and intimacy), together with a turn to ‘character’ and ‘resilience’ building, has brought the notion that ‘representation matters’ back to surface. Indeed, increasingly, diversity, character, resilience have become catchphrases that resonate across cultures and borders and serve not only as indicators of progress, but also as an aspirational frame for younger people.

Pointing at the possibility of reductive notions of the politics of representation, whereby the quantity of representation is automatically seen as a sign of progress- leading, for example, to queerbaiting or colourbaiting – here, we are interested in the ways in which femininity and masculinity are being constructed, dismantled or reinvented in the course of the 21st century in everyday life and/or in the media and popular culture.