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Title: Tomboy: New Womanhood, Stardom, and Chinese Cinema in the 1930s
Authors: Huang, Wangli 
Prof. HE Qiliang 
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies, October 2020, Vol.20 (2), pp. 217-33
Journal: Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies 
Abstract: This article explores Tomboy (Huashen guniang 化身姑娘, 1936), arguably one of the most viewed films in China in the mid-1930s, and Yuan Meiyun's 袁美雲 (1917–1999) stardom in prewar Shanghai. Tomboy's popularity was a testimony to the rise of female stardom and female fandom in this decade. The 1930s also saw both the final triumph of the rally for women's rights since the May Fourth period and the Nationalist Party's pro-family, anti-woman backlash. Tomboy catapulted Yuan Meiyun to superstardom in the context of the cacophonous debates on new femininity in China in the relatively conservative mid-1930s. This article thus argues that because Yuan Meiyun exemplified a new type of woman who was modern, attractive, and independent but exempted herself from modern life's vices and hedonism, her eclectic womanhood both on the screen and in the media narrative gained widespread acclaim and thereby contributed to her success as a film star.
Type: Peer Reviewed Journal Article
Appears in Collections:History - Publication

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