Here is the annotation for Kim’s story: A dangerous plague is turning high school girls into ravishing beauties. We found this story’s illumination of teenage girlhood and its passionate desires to be a quite heartbreaking meditation on the meaning of beauty and femininity in the media and popular culture. Especially lovable — the main character. Especially pertinent to us — our protagonist’s hopeless assurances that really, girl geeks can grow up okay. Especially fabulous — the marvelous voice of the piece and the amazing ending.
At least one person on the jury that year believed that feminism is currently located in intersectionality; that it’s no longer possible much less desirable to discuss gender and divorce it from race and class, etc. The primary focus of the Kim story is on a traditional issue of feminism, ie ,physical female beauty. But it also provides a textbook example of intersectionality, particularly with regard to race. I thought we could start there, with the story’s various intersectionalities and then, of course, go wherever you all would like.
The story is available online here: Strange Horizons Fiction: Beautiful White Bodies, by Alice Sola Kim.