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Fashionable 'fags' and stylish 'sissies': The representation of Stanford in Sex and the City and Nigel in The Devil Wears Prada

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This paper considers the representation of Stanford in Sex and the City and Nigel in The Devil Wears Prada and analyses whether or not they differ from the early stereotypes of homosexuality portrayed in Hollywood narrative cinema. The paper will argue that these stereotypes play an important role as defining others for the female leads, especially in relation to fashion. Both Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada can be described as 'fashion films' in that they are pro-fashion texts, proclaiming the joy and pleasure that fashion and consumption can offer the post-feminist, metropolitan woman. However, while both the leading female characters and the gay men demonstrate a love of fashion, the women's consumption of designer clothes is represented in the film texts as making them more 'attractive' while the gay men's adoration of fashion has the very opposite effect.
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Keywords: Representation of homosexuality; defining other; fag; fashion; sissy; stereotyping

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Sussex

Publication date: 2012-02-09

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  • Film, Fashion & Consumption is a peer-reviewed journal designed to provide an arena for the discussion of research, methods and practice within and between the fields of film, fashion, design, history, art history and heritage. The journal seeks to stimulate ongoing research on these topics and to attract contributions not only from scholars researching in these areas but also from practitioners, who are traditionally excluded from academic debate. The journal thus aims to unite and enlarge a community of researchers and practitioners in film, fashion, consumption and related fields, whilst also introducing a wider audience to new work, particularly to interdisciplinary research which looks at the intersections between film, fashion and consumption.
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