Durham, M. Gigi. The Lolita Effect: Sexy Girls in the Media. 2008

Bibliographic title
The Lolita Effect: Sexy Girls in the Media
Periodical or collection
Nabokov Online Journal
Periodical issue
v. 2
Publication year

Durham emonstrates in her essay, "The Lolita Effect," in contemporary media culture, the sexy little girl has become a pervasive sign, and the cultural reference most frequently invoked to describe this phenomenon is Lolita. The word "Lolita" is used to describe a wanton, provocative nymphet who seduces adult men, but in fact is a highly corporate system of commodity capital that is constructing and circulating this version of Lolita via mainstream media and marketing. In this chapter, the Introduction to the forthcoming book The Lolita Effect, the author draws on Barthes' concept of myth to analyze the emergence of the sexy little girl in twenty-first century popular culture, examine the conditions of production that have mobilized the dissemination of this image, and offer a distinction between the myth of girls' sexuality in the mainstream for-profit media and progressive, diverse, healthy concepts of sexuality that are elided and marginalized by these images.