Being Annie Oakley Modern Girls, New World Woman ann mcgrath Dressed for New World play, little girls in Annie Oakley outfits domesticated and settled the psychic frontiers of colonizer nations. By using domestic spaces to play out action narratives of New World conquest, the Annie Oakley character's embodiment of "frontier freedoms" potentially unsettled the historical and contemporary imagery of domestic white womanhood. This article explores the multiple possibilities of the transformative, convergent persona harnessed by Annie Oakley gear. In the mid-twentieth century, dressing as Annie Oakley featured as a popular persona for young girls throughout much of the world. Via the dress-up clothing for "cowboys and Indians"--a game involving pretend battles with indigenous peoples for domination over lands--this article considers some of the practices of repetitive historical performance. An investigation of how children wore the cowgirl/Annie Oakley outfit of their home wardrobes affords fresh clues into how colonizing histories were popularized in everyday life. In the domestic spaces of the mid-twentieth century, the Annie Oakley legend arguably became one of the most intimate, engaging, and enduring performances of gendered modernity. The children's cowgirl outfit was replete with its own iconography, relations of exchange, and accompanying sets of role-play
Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jul 17, 2007
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