Glitter, glam and gender play: pop and teenybop in the early 1970s

In the early 1970s, the British pop charts were dominated by male performers dressed in outrageously effeminate outfits. Glam rock was all about performance: for the most part, it didn’t pretend to be authentic or sincere. It was undeniably camp, and perhaps also postmodern – and yet it has largely been neglected by cultural critics and researchers. In this essay, I attempt to describe and define glam, and consider the broader issues that it raises; I look at its sexual politics, and discuss how we might understand its fans, the so-called teenyboppers of the time.

You can download the whole essay (without illustrations) by clicking here, or click on the subheadings to read the illustrated sections of this essay:

  1. Writing about glam
  2. Defining glam
  3. Against authenticity
  4. Performing sexuality
  5. Glam, girls and fandom
  6. Conclusion: the legacy of glam
  7. Sources and references