This bachelor thesis examines body activism on Instagram as an aesthetic mode of expression and social practice. Selfies as a practice and the image of the naked body will, to many people, connote vanity and point to the individual’s battle towards making peace with their own body in a world dominated by narrow body norms. However, body activism is a much broader concept and there seems to be a challenge to developing a scholarly understanding of the cultural meaning of body activism.
This thesis will address how body activism can be seen as identity forging and as a tool for social change through a case study of body activist Kathrine Graa, who posts pictures of her body on Instagram. Throughout the thesis, I will describe how Graa, through her activism, problematises the narrow and oppressive body norms that are being imposed on people by society. She articulates the shame that is connected to the body and the fact that women are being objectified and body shamed if they do not meet these norms. On her Instagram profile, Graa creates a space in which participants are given the possibility to experiment with new ways of being and where they can challenge the norms of what constitutes a good body and practice a more all embracing and caring approach to the body itself. The essence and value of body activism is to be understood as a temporal generation of meaning between different participants, who through negotiation, connections and coexistence create social change.
On Instagram, Graa has assumed the role of the body activist which she systematically performs. She does this consciously but also intuitively. Through participations in the body activist community, she has been socialised to perform in accordance with the shared practice and norms of participation. Through her role as a body activist, she enacts and reproduces the values of an ideology that the community represents. In her everyday life, Graa impulsively takes pictures of her body and through that she explores, praises and enjoys her body. Through this practice she has influenced her self-image in a positive way, which is further strengthened when she posts her images on Instagram and receives positive feedback. This occurs in repeating loops, which result in similar actions that range beyond her online practice. By taking on a role that practises self care and self acceptance and pays tribute to her body with all its flaws, her online identity is affecting her self-image. This has led to a more all embracing and loving approach towards her body.
|Uddannelser||Performance-design, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor|
|Udgivelsesdato||19 dec. 2017|
- relationel æstetik
- social forandring