In thinking more about the Spice Girls after the discussion today, it occurred to me how the ideology of Girl Power, and the Spice Girls specifically, can be viewed completely as market driven, inventions of media producers to sell an image of feminism that is inherently sexist. Beside the fact the images of the Spice Girls are totally sexualized to fit a hegemonic construction of beauty, if you look closer at the construction of their image as whole, you can see how simplified, and shallow their representations are - and there are five of them!
To me this reads as a low risk, high return model of market based capitalism operating in the pop music world, and I view the use of feminism particularly problematic, because they are so ridiculous that they can easily be dismissed.
The screening of Miss Representation helped me better understand the connections made by Rosalind Gill between neoliberalism and postfeminism by correlating the attack on 2nd wave feminism by the conservatives, the deregulation of media and advertising, and the withdrawal of the state from social provision with the rise in postfeminist ideologies, thus producing an environment of enlightened sexism.
The film exemplified how the hegemonic feminist narrative is problematic because even when a woman reaches a level of power in our society like Sarah Palin did during the 2008 presidential campaign, she is still scrutinized based on a male construction of femininity. By sexualizing Palin, her achievements are delegitimized, and her value as a politician becomes based on her ability to satisfy the male gaze. In some ways her sexuality was used to sell the Republican platform under a postfeminist guise.