Female Consumerism And Its Effects On The Empowerment Of Women

741 Words Oct 15th, 2016 3 Pages
With the growth of consumer culture and globalization, especially in capitalistic societies, more attention is being paid to the growing role of consumers. More specifically, scholars like Wei Luo, Angela McRobbie and Mary Lou Roberts have closely analyzed female consumerism and its effects in the empowerment of women. Is so-called feminist consumerism a tool of empowerment for females within modern society, or is it another system which perpetuates traditional patriarchal ideals? Scholars generally hold “two dichotomous standpoints” (Luo 2) on such feminist consumerism, either embracing it as the assertion of free choice on the part of the woman (Luo) or another form of “gender retrenchment and the undoing of feminism” (McRobbie 542). They all agree however, that female consumerism, can and does play a central role in the definition of normative societal standards of gender norms, class mobility and free-will. McRobbie postulates an increasing “encroachment by commercial forces on gender roles” (532) in new markets and products that target women through advertisement and media portrayal of femininity. One such emergent market would be that of cosmetic surgery analyzed in Luo’s article, “Aching for the Altered Body: Beauty economy and Chinese women’s consumption of cosmetic surgery.” Whereas McRobbie is quick to label such practices as “forms of compulsory consumption” (533), Luo’s direct study of women who have undergone such procedures suggests that the willingness of…

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