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Doing bodies differently? Gender, youth, appearance and damage

Frost, Liz


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Liz Frost
Associate Professor in Social Work


Feminist writers have identified young women's engagement with their appearances as a source of alienation from their bodies. There are now concerns that 'feminization' of youth behaviour will lead to similar difficulties for young men, and this papers sets out to examine whether they too are experiencing levels of identity damage from this. The contemporary context of identity construction will be briefly considered. That for boys and girls practices of consumption can offer group affiliations but can lead also to exclusion and isolation is discussed. That boys are under pressure to produce bodies that are sporty, strong and 'hard' is then argued. The paper concludes that there are similarities in the pressures on boys and girls to 'do looks', but that the failure to do this and the experience of being excluded and/or devalued that this may produce may have more to do with class, 'race' and poverty than with gender. © 2003 Taylor & Francis Ltd.


Frost, L. (2003). Doing bodies differently? Gender, youth, appearance and damage. Journal of Youth Studies, 6(1), 53-70.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2003
Journal Journal of Youth Studies
Print ISSN 1367-6261
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 1
Pages 53-70
Keywords body image, gender, youth, appearance
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