Beauty and the Bump: Celebrities, Social Media and the Consumption of Pregnancy
In an image driven world, the bodies of female celebrities fascinate us. We devour a plethora of publications ranging from pregnancy bumps to postpartum beauties, with good mothers like Gwyneth and bad mothers like Britney. Popular media is loaded with stories which uphold cultural ideologies and expectations. Yet what effect do these stories have on the everyday mother, who doesn’t relate to the image of the celebrity who ‘has it all’? Where do men feature within these culturally mediated stories that are typically based on females? Most importantly, how can social media drive these topics, and what does this mean for the expression of our online selves? The current study investigates Goffman’s ideas regarding the self, and contends that our online identity is a reflection of how we wish to be seen in the real world, regardless of the truths behind the screen. It aims to explore these ideas, highlight the contradictions created by social media, and discuss whether examples of celebrity pregnancies that act as a benchmark may in fact be detrimental to women’s experiences of pregnancy as a whole.
Advisor: Brickell, Chris
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Gender Studies
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: social media; identity; celebrities; celebrity; baby; babies; motherhood; mother; woman; masculinity; femininity; sociology; gender studies; Goffman; consumption; pregnancy; post-partum; online; female; instagram; twitter; facebook; bodies; sexuality; fatherhood; sexy dad; perfect mother; good mother; feminism; sociocultural; anonymity; looking glass self; like; iMe; Kardashian; yummy mummy; crossfit; gender roles; power; fitness; postpartum; bad mother; image; teenage mother; fertility; parenting; performativity; hegemonic
Research Type: Thesis