From Women’s Magazines to Instagram

womens-magazines.pngFrom Women’s Magazines to Instagram: A qualitative analysis of photographic representations of femininity in the age of self-representation

Researcher(s) (CIMS)

Sofia Caldeira

Supervisors (CIMS)

Sofie Van Bauwel

Co-Supervisors (CIMS)

Sander De Ridder


This research will study the relationships between women's fashion and lifestyle magazines and Instagram's photographic identity and gender construction strategies, analysing the similarities and differences in the strategies each of these media are using for the photographic construction of gender identities, and confronting magazines' usage of idealized and often prescriptive images of femininity with Instagram's practices of self-representation.

It will look into how images of femininity are photographically and discursively constructed in both women magazines and on Instagram. Question if the changes brought by Instagram embody a possibility to represent other femininities. And if these changes point to a generalized shift from the magazine's traditional modes of representation of specifically and narrowly-defined gendered identities into freer strategies of photographic representation.

This comparative study between will be achieved through an multi-methodological approach that fuses a review of literature, with content analysis and with an ethnographic approach to both women's magazines and Instagram's feeds.