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Changing the narratives of marginalised bodies - a study about body positivism
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to explain and analyse the body positivity movement in the social media platform Instagram, as well as its empowering effects on women active in this movement. The phenomenon based on visuality, body positivism, has more than three million pictures on Instagram, hashtagged under two popular hashtags examined in this thesis: #bodypositivity and #bodypositive. The goal of this movement is to show diversity in the portrayal of women, as well as to encourage acceptance of all body types, skin colours and body flaws - especially marginalised bodies that are often invisible in the current society. The research is conducted with methods of visual content analysis and interviews with women participating in the body positivity movement. This study is framed in feminism theory and this study includes theories of gender-norms, Western beauty standards, the male gaze and questions about identity and body image. The results of this study show that most of the people participating in the movement are white women and are pictured often in their underwear. In the pictures hashtagged with body positivity related hashtags, there are, however, not that many flaws visible - such as cellulite or stretch marks. Nevertheless, after interviewing the women active in this movement - active as picture publishers, conversation holders and as body positive Instagram-user followers - this movement is empowering to the women and helps develop a positive body image and better self-esteem. In addition, this phenomenon can change the narratives of the people with marginalised bodies and modify the image of how women are represented and portrayed in society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
body positivism, beauty standards, feminism, social media, Instagram
National Category
Media Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-144060OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-144060DiVA: diva2:1107516
Presentation
2017-06-01, Stockholm, 14:34 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-11 Created: 2017-06-09 Last updated: 2017-06-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NO
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Output format
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