Dress like a Mum/Mom: Instagram Style Mums and the Fashionable Ideal

Joanne Entwistle, Elizabeth Wissinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper explores whether the dominant fashion aesthetic is challenged or destabilized through the case study of Instagram style mums/moms. It considers how social media, such as Instagram, opens up new spaces for bodies to perform fashionability without the mediation of the fashion system. This space is potentially more “democratic,” allowing those located outside the fashion system to exhibit fashionability through personal style, presenting alternatives to the normative fashionable body. However, conversely, Instagram is also a space that is increasingly colonized by big brands and celebrity “influencers” whose accounts display similar aesthetics to mainstream fashion. By examining a range of mums/moms, not just celebrity or “micro-celebrity” accounts, the paper explores the creative display of style and explorations of their maternal body—outside the dominant fashionable ideal—to discuss how these women implicitly, sometimes explicitly, challenge the aesthetics of fashion. In articulating a “technique of the self,” this “mum style” opens space to navigate motherhood and fashionability at the same time. The aesthetic tropes of “mum style” are explored to unpack the contradictions and possibilities of this space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-42
Number of pages37
JournalFashion Theory - Journal of Dress Body and Culture
Early online date4 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • fashion mediation
  • Instagram
  • Instagram fashion
  • maternal fashion
  • social media

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