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Title: SIApa itu? Gendering Singaporean National Identity through an Analysis of the Singapore Girl icon
Issue Date: 2-Apr-2018
Citation: ARIELLE NG RAE (2018-04-02). SIApa itu? Gendering Singaporean National Identity through an Analysis of the Singapore Girl icon. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Since her creation in 1972, Singapore Airlines’ Singapore Girl icon has seen great success: locally, her place as a Singaporean icon has long been cemented into the national psyche, while internationally, she has become recognisable as a symbol of Asian values and hospitality. However, critics have argued that the Singapore Girl icon perpetuates sexist and Orientalized myths about Singapore as a Southeast Asian nation, unnecessarily exotifying the nation-state in the process. There are then two puzzles: the state’s paradoxical choice in utilizing such an icon, despite constructing itself as a cosmopolitan state, and Singaporeans’ continued acceptance of the Singapore Girl as an icon, despite increasing awareness of discourses surrounding gender equality. This paper thus frames the Singapore Girl as symbolic “women as cultural bearers of the nation,” arguing that the contradictory use and acceptance of the icon can be attributed to the continued salience of gendered notions underlying Singaporean nationhood, i.e. the belief that women should ultimately still carry the weight of being cultural bearers of the nation. Through this analysis, this paper hopes to highlight the often-obscured issue of gender in understandings of Singaporean nationhood, and thus provide a more nuanced understanding of gender-differentiated citizenship embedded within the Singaporean state’s nation-building mechanisms.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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