This article studies the emergence of the Modern Girl as an icon of consumerism and global femininity in print media in 1920s Siam, a phenomenon that has been overlooked in contemporary Thai studies. As the print media industry gained success among the literate middle-classes of urban Bangkok, the sao samai (the Siamese Modern Girl)—who had a shared identity with Modern Girls around the world—made her first appearance among popular audiences. She expressed herself through her appearance: bobbed hair, exaggerated make-up and modern clothing. She was open about her sexual desires and represented Siamese urban modern femininity. In the women's print media industry, Satri thai and Netnari stood out as the most vocal women's magazines of the decade. Using these magazines as source material, this article provides insights into Siamese women's consumer culture of this period and their calls for women's liberation.


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pp. 110-148
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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