Good Girls Go Bad: The Transformation of Young Femininity in Contemporary Teen TV

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Over the past 30 years, teen television has become wildly popular—resonating not only with its primary audience of teens and tweens but also with adults. In fact, seminal shows continue to live on long after their series finales through syndication, streaming services, spin-offs, and reboots. Likewise, the characters and story lines of new teen shows have quickly become part of the cultural lexicon. Although critical media scholars have studied a range of representations within individual programs, it is necessary to take a holistic approach and examine how representations throughout the genre have changed over time. This chapter focuses on one facet of representation, gender, and explores the evolution of young femininity. The gradual shift from the “good girl,” to the “troubled girl,” and then to the “bad girl” not only reflects reigning popular discourses about young women but also underlying ideologies about gender and power.


ISBN 9781544393421 (pbk.); 9781544393438 (ebook)

The full text ebook is available to authorized Sacred Heart University users.