In considering the Britpop genre of music and its moment of popularity in the mid/late-1990s, the few female-fronted Britpop groups created space for more compelling articulations of existential matters than were to be found in standard Britpop fare. This article argues these articulations are most appropriately read as arising from a moment of feminist thought in transition: a premature “victory,” under the sign of postfeminism, in which the struggles of Second Wave feminists could be seen to have delivered equality. This moment results in an encroaching and contested sense of entry into maturity, and a loss of youth. The groups examined in this article—Elastica, Echobelly and particularly Sleeper—articulate something of the lived condition of postfeminism and a sense of its concerns and uncertainties (emotional, ethical, existential) in this short-lived period. Additionally, the article tracks the development in the movement from the “wild child,” “It Girl” of the early 1990s through the figure of the ladette (which found a resonance in female-fronted Britpop groups), and thereafter to the emergence of a sexualized celebrity feminism, under the sign of Third Wave feminism.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.