Chicks on sticks: Women, surfing, celluloid

26 May 2008 0 Share

By Paul Scott

Puberty Blues era Cronulla

Puberty Blues era Cronulla



Introduction
This article seeks to examine and analyse the manner in which three coming-of-age or rites-of-passage films – Gidget (1959), Puberty Blues (1981) and Blue Crush (2002) - seek to portray the relationship between female adolescence and surfing. In a sport that remains predominantly white, middle class and male – recreationally, professionally and in its key representations - these three films provide historians and cultural analysts with a suitable terrain to explore that relationship through focusing a lens on the interaction between content and context. Surfing's relationship to sex and gender appears to crash onto the shore of popular culture in waves of inconsistency, contradiction and extremes. Scholarly examination is warranted to further our understanding of gender issues, female adolescence, patriarchal anxiety and the shifting cultural significance of the surfing lifestyle.

Table of Contents

Surfing Hollywood: History, Heroes and Hodads
- Surfing Hollywood: History, Heroes and Hodads

Gidget
- Gidget: Turning on the Suburbs
- Gidget, Lolita and Anxious Dads
- Gidget: Surfing Around Conformity

Puberty Blues
- Puberty Blues: Not Just Happy Memories
- Sun and Surf and Sand and Sex
- Greenhills: Status Migration
- Surf Culture: Gendered Boundaries All Around
- Boys and Surfboards : Subservience and Liberation

Blue Crush
- Grrrrl Power or Pretty Woman Meets Baywatch Barbie?
- ‘Haolewood’: We Grew Here - You Flew Here
- Surfploitation


Conclusion

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