Hopkins argues for a link between the 1990s British band Spice Girls, their vision of girl power, and the creation of a new kind of "girl hero". Hopkins also explores the roles of figures such as supermodels, magical girls, Carmen Sandiego, Britney Spears, Lara Croft, Xena, Dana Scully, the Charlie's Angels (the 2000s version), Sabrina Spellman, Mulan, and Buffy Summers.
She also draws comparisons between these images and earlier ones, such as Emma Peel of The Avengers, the 1970s television show Wonder Woman, Madonna and the Charlie's Angels TV show of the 1970s, pointing out the relative independence of this archetype from male and parental support.
- List of female action heroes
- Buffy studies
- Girl power
- Magical girl
- Woman warrior
- Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
- Lumby, Catharine (November 2002). "Girl Power Besting the Net. "Girl Heroes: The New Force in Popular Culture" by Susan Hopkins". Australian Book Review.
"Girl Heroes" is a book that meditates deeply on the question of the image and objectification, and on what's at stake in the Nietzschean ideal of aesthetic subjectivity, a realm in which the divisions between illusion and reality, art and life, dissolve. Indeed, one of the things that makes this book so pleasurable to read is that the author has such a confident grasp of the ethical and broader philosophical terrain in which she's working that she's able to make it sound simple.