Defining the Diva: Celebrity, Feminism & Performance in Popular Culture
The word ‘diva’ tends to conjure a specific kind of woman. As popular culture has come to recognize ‘diva’ as a more politicized term, it’s essential to acknowledge that the intrinsic meaning of such a term in this context comes from a patriarchal culture that strives to control women’s bodies, identities, and individual narratives as they’re represented in the media.
Through analysis of Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Jennifer Lopez’s careers in the music and entertainment industry, this paper explores this notion further while considering the implications of gender, race, ethnicity, and age. These case studies analyze the shifting relationship and potential areas of overlap and divergence between the terms diva and marketplace feminism and its relationship to radical feminism. This paper explores why language matters, especially within colonial systems of power and how that impacts gendered terminology and is directly linked to language around self-identification, ownership, and representation. These studies also analyze to what extent celebrities can ever own their identities when they are subject to the visual narratives created by systems of dominant framings of world politics and power dynamics.
Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez
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Photo credits: Mike Coppola, Frazer Harrison, Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images. Source: ET Online.
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