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”I look flawless all day long”: En studie av diskurser om skönhet i material producerat av influencers
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
2018 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
”I look flawless all day long” : A study of discourses about beauty in content created by influencers. (English)
Abstract [en]

The internet and social media networks have created a changed world of media. Influencers work with creating content on these platforms. This study is focused on five female influencers which each has a large audience of viewers and that work within the category of beauty. They make content that mainly focuses on makeup and fashion. The study's aim is to examine discourses about beauty, identity and emotions in content created by these influencers, and to examine if norms and ideals about beauty is reproduced or challenged. The study relies on a theoretical framework with theories about influence marketing, identity and self-presentation online, the consumer society and how it relates to beauty, gender analysis, and also the role of emotion in cultural politics. The study uses two methods, the first being an analysis of content posted on Twitter using the tool Textometrica and the second being a multimodal discourse analysis of ten videos posted on YouTube. The results show that western ideals of beauty often are reproduced in this material, and that they are reproduced in different ways and forms. Multiple themes and topics within the discourse is discussed. These for example involving who the influencers are and what it takes to become a popular influencer, the identities these influencers build online and aspects of how they create their content, the myth that anyone can become as beautiful and sellable as the influencers if only they use the right products in the right ways, how the body and someone's appearance is seen as a never-ending project that can always be improved and also at theme about an internalised judging gaze. Beauty in this discourse is a word that metonymically becomes sticky with positive values and emotions and almost becomes a synonym for concepts of happiness and health. To be ideally beautiful becomes equivalent to be happy and confident.  To be ideally beautiful becomes equivalent to be healthy. The reproduction of these norms is problematic in many ways, where one of the most important is that it excludes people that does not live up to the norms. It can also be harmful in a way of effecting mental health and wellbeing of the people trying to live up to these norms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Media & communication studies, social media, influencer, beauty, discourse analysis, Textometrica, online identity, self-branding, the consumer society, norms of ideal beauty.
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-149223OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-149223DiVA, id: diva2:1219844
Subject / course
Magister Thesis in Media and Communication Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Culture and Media Studies
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-18 Created: 2018-06-18 Last updated: 2018-06-18Bibliographically approved

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