African Studies Seminar: Lagos Girl Power: Performing Postfeminism in Nigeria

simidele dosekun

Conveners: Sebabatso Manoeli and Thomas Hendriks

Speaker: Simidele Dosekun, University of Sussex

This paper draws from a research project on class-privileged young women in Lagos who dress in a ‘spectacularly feminine style’ characterised by the extravagant use of normatively feminine elements including cascading hair extensions, long and brightly painted acrylic nails, heavy and immaculate make-up, and false eyelashes. It shows how the women see themselves as performing a new, ‘empowered’ femininity, and makes a case for the analytical and political value of understanding their practices of self in terms of ‘postfeminism.’

Simidele Dosekun is a lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex. She is currently working on a book manuscript on new styles of feminine dress and subjectivity among class-privileged young women in Lagos, Nigeria.