My essay, ” ‘Just a Doll in Dungarees’: Revisiting Gidget” has been published at The Toast. Here’s a quick preview:
While I can’t pretend to know how the filmmakers intended audiences to perceive Betty Louise, called B.L., they’ve presented her in such a way that it’s difficult to not read her as a lesbian. Using initials for a girl’s name was not common in 1959 by any means. B.L. is not invited to the manhunt; she has short hair several years before the pixie cut would come into style, and in every scene, her clothing is loose, monochromatic, and without frills. Plus, look at her in that chair: legs crossed in a way that takes up as much room as possible, she lets her face slip into an inaudible scoff as she eats an apple noisily.
The essay is here and also linked under “Writing” on this site.