Abstract: In this article I discuss Stella , a new women’s magazine in Papua New Guinea. Noting that Stella provides a context for celebrating new Pacific femininities, I argue that the magazine’s representations of fashion are a crucial way in which this refiguring of the feminine occurs. Discussing the significance of what women wear through reference to anthropological insights about the relationship between clothing, gender, and status, I suggest that in PNG, clothing is a focal point of cultural debate. Through its playful politics, Stella intervenes in this debate, thus smuggling a deeply political message between its glossy pages. In addition, I demonstrate that through its selective aestheticization of the “local” and the “traditional,” the magazine acknowledges educated, young Papua New Guinean women’s desire to reconfigure “culture” in more inclusive ways.
The Contemporary Pacific – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jun 5, 2015