Read on! Check out these resources

This is a very partial list of resources on these subjects. They present interesting information and perspectives; all views of these authors do not necessarily reflect those of the Girls, Women + Media Project. Some books contain mature subject matter.


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Images of women/girls in popular culture and entertainment

Brave Dames and Wimpettes; What Women are Really Doing on Page and Screen (Susan Isaacs, 1999)
Novelist Isaacs takes a clever look at the female heroes, and hero wanna-be’s in recent film, TV and books. Short, but insightful and funny.

Where the Girls Are; Growing Up Female with the Mass Media (Susan J. Douglas, 1994) One of the books that started it all--the study of girls, women and media, that is. A funny and smart classic.

Popcorn VenusWomen, Movies and the American Dream (Marjorie Rosen, 1973) This is an extremely detailed and perceptive book which traces the development of movies considering cultural and historical changes of the 20th century, especially regarding women. Sadly out of print but it can still be purchased at on-line bookstores.

Reel to Real: Race, Sex and Class at the Movies (by bell hooks) Not reviewed at this time.

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Women in the Business Film and Television:

When Women Call the Shots: The Developing Power and Influence of Women in Television and Film (Linda Seger, 1996)
While the title may be overly optimistic, this book by Hollywood insider Seger is well-researched and written, providing thoughts and experiences of prominent women in Hollywood as well as historical information and commentary.

Is That A Gun In Your Pocket? Women's Experience of Power in Hollywood (Rachel Abramowitz, 2001) (not reviewed at this time)

Great Women of Film (Helena Lumme, 2002); coincides with major exhibit at Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences(not reviewed at this time)

Women Who Run The Show (Mollie Gregory, 2002) (not reviewed at this time)


Women In Television News Revisited (Judith Marlane, 1999) (not reviewed at this time)

A Place in the News (Kay Mills, 1990) A thorough history of women in the newspaper business, and insight into the facts and challenges of being a woman in news from a former L.A. Times reporter.

And So It GoesAdventures in Television (Linda Ellerbee, 1986) With her sharp wit and wisdom, veteran journalist and trailblazer Ellerbee writes about her experience in television news in the 1970’s and 80’s.

Music Journalism:

Rock She WroteWomen Write about Rock, Pop, and Rap (ed. Evelyn McDonnell and Ann Powers, 1995): Wild, sometimes wise writing by women about pop music, and more.(note: graphic language/content)

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Body Image, Appearance :

Picture Perfect A contemporary film that can be used as a learning and teaching tool for body image, eating disorders, and issues of stereotyping of girls and women in popular media.

Body Wars; Making Peace with Women's Bodies--An Activists Guide (Margo Maine, Ph.D, 2000) A director at Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention (EDAP) and psychotherapist who treats adolescent girls, Maine gives information on the obstacles to physical and emotional health and self-esteem most common in young women, and ideas about activism.

Drugs and Visions: Comprehensive guide to Hallucogenic and other drugs

Can’t Buy My LoveWhy Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising (Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., 2000) Highly popular campus speaker and educator Jean Kilbourne deconstructs the negative messages for women that are represented through some advertising. Kilbourne has been studying this area for over 20 years.

Adios, Barbie: Young Women Write About Body Image and Indentity(1998)
An anthology of writing by young women of various backgrounds, ethnicities, and sexual orientations on body image; the stories can be stark, radical, painfully blunt, and powerful.

Real Gorgeous: The Truth About Body and Beauty (Kaz Cooke, 1994, 1996 in USA) This is an entertaining and often funny look by Australian author and cartoonist Cooke at how messages about appearance, health, beauty and sex in media and culture are distorted . . . and those cartoons!

The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women (Naomi Wolf, 1991) This widely read book looks at how industry and cultural pressure encourage women to meet constantly more demanding beauty expectations.

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General: History, Economics, Politics of Media and Commercialism:

Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times(Robert W. McChesney, 1999, new preface in paperback 2000) A dense, very thorough look at the history of media, and media policy, with an critical look at the inequities fostered by our current system.

No Logo (Naomi Klein, 2000)
The book chronicles the growing globalization of corporate commercial culture as well as the growing popular resistance to it.

Understanding Media (Marshall McCluhan, 1964) The classic book which many believe to represent the beginning of the media literacy movement in the U.S. is still full of interesting thoughts and history, though not in the language of today’s popular media criticism.