individually achieved and obtained through a celebration of the
feminine through the female body and by a consumerist, personally
gratifying sex life. Postfeminism situates female empowerment as
individualistic rather than as social, political, and economic (Gill).
The show’s plot is driven by the personal and professional lives
(and the intersections of those) of the four main women
characters. Each episode’s problems are idiosyncratic to Hannah
(primarily) and her friends. Aside from the representative
importance of complex female characters, the experiences of these
women aren’t generalizable, nor do they push for the social,
professional, and civic equity of genders. A postfeminist woman is
a free and self-determined one, or so she thinks. This runs counter
to the traditionally feminist argument of the “personal-as-
political.” In her article “Postfeminist Media Culture: Elements of
a Sensibility,” Rosalind Gill argues that postfeminism has
“reprivatized” issues that feminism once politicized while idolizing
the concepts of personal choice and self-determination. She uses
the example of postmodern women embracing Brazilian waxes
and breast augmentations to “use beauty” as a means of self-
empowerment and negating the systems that put pressure on
women to subscribe to those beauty standards (Gill). Girls also
prioritizes the personal, though mainly through Hannah’s writing
profession.
Hannah’s writing is largely experiential and diary-like, and her
character has the tendency to frame each issue presented in the
show (sexuality, sexual health, career choices, etc.) as personal to
her. In fact, her self-centered nature is presented as her primary
character flaw in the show, and her self-absorption can be read as
a critique of the postfeminist personalization and privatization of
issues that face women. The show lacks this outright critique of
the hyper-personal, however. Girls prioritizes Hannah’s limited
perspective, and though it often places foils that seem to reflect
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