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The Mega-Marketing of Gender, Race, and Modernity

Xuxa

The Mega-Marketing of Gender, Race, and Modernity

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Amelia Simpson

"A fascinating new book...[that] offers a lucid academic critique of Xuxa's persona."
Entertainment Weekly

Former Playboy centerfold and soft-porn movie actress Xuxa (SHOO-sha) emerged in the 1980s as Brazil's mass media megastar. Through her children's television show, which reaches millions of people in Latin America and the United States, this blond sex symbol has attained extraordinary cultural authority. Reaching far beyond younger audiences, Xuxa's show informs the culture at large about gender relations, racial democracy, and idealized beauty.

Backed by Brazil's TV Globo, the fourth-largest commercial network in the world, Xuxa has built an empire. Amelia Simpson's colorful portrayal is the first book to explore how Xuxa's representation of femininity, her privileging of a white ideal of beauty, and her promotional approach to culture perpetuate inequality on an unprecedented scale. Simpson's thoughtful analysis exposes the complicity of a mass audience eager to celebrate Xuxa's deeply compromised representations of gender, race, and modernity.

Xuxa also explores the meaning behind the myth—Xuxa's long-term relationship with Brazil's soccer idol, Pelé, and the near-worship of her atypical blond, blue-eyed appearance by Brazil's population. As the author examines Xuxa's suggestive style juxtaposed with juvenile entertainment, and the phenomenon of Xuxa-look-alike teenaged paquitas, she unfold the symbolic territory of blond sex symbols worldwide.

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Excerpt

Read the Introduction (pdf).

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Reviews

"Simpson has brought the facts and persona of Xuxa together in this well-documented, well-written analysis of the Brazilian superstar. She touches bases on gender, race, and changing patterns in Brazil. Xuxa is rich with information, laced with insight about the methods, practices and abuses that abound with the marketing of a personality and its products, and the effect of TV on all who watch it, especially the children."
News from Brazil

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Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Xuxamania
1. Myths of Beauty and Myths of Race
2. Xuxavision: Programmed Euphoria
3. Mass Marketing the Messages
4. Xhaping the Future
5. Kids and Kidnappers
Notes
Index

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About the Author(s)

Amelia Simpson teaches in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Florida. She recently edited and translated New Tales of Mystery and Crime form Latin America (1992).

Subject Categories

General Interest
Women's Studies
Latin American/Caribbean Studies

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