This paper investigates young women's alcohol consumption in the United Kingdom within a widespread culture of intoxication in relation to recent debates about postfeminism and contemporary femininity. Young women are faced with an “impossible dilemma,” arising from the contradiction between a hedonistic discourse of alcohol consumption and postfeminist discourse around attaining and maintaining the “right” form of hypersexual heterosexual femininity. Drawing on a recent interview study with 24 young white working-class and middle-class women in the South-West of England, we explore how young women inhabit the dilemmas of contemporary femininity in youth drinking cultures, striving to achieve the “right” form of hypersexual femininity and an “optimum” level of drunkenness.
Bailey, L., Griffin, C., & Shankar, A. (2015). "Not a good look”: Impossible dilemmas for young women negotiating the culture of intoxication in the UK. Substance Use and Misuse, 50, 747-758. https://doi.org/10.3109/10826084.2015.978643