Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Media Studies

Reader 1

T. Kim-Trang Tran

Reader 2

Jonathan M. Hall

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Rights Information

© 2015 Dorie L. Bailey


In the traditionally patriarchal Hollywood industry, the heterosexual man’s “male gaze,” as coined by feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey, is the dominant viewing model for cinematic audiences, leaving little room for a negotiated reading of how visual images are created, presented, and internalized by male and female audiences alike. However, as Hollywood’s shifting feminist landscape becomes increasingly prevalent in the mainstream media, content incorporating the oppositional “female gaze” have become the new norm in both the film and television mediums. Through an extended analysis of the gaze as socialized through gendered learning in children, the “safe space” afforded through the formulaic platform of “boy bands,” and the function of romantic comedies and the emerging feminist rhetoric prevalent in such films as “Magic Mike: XXL,” the conceptual “female gaze” is defined and explored through the demographic of young girls as they grow and push their understanding of desire, particularly as they develop into the mature, media-cosuming women that have become increasingly vocal in the Hollywood sphere.