The Dilemma of Beauty in the Social Media Era


This study aims to analyze the dilemmas of Indonesian society, especially women, in understanding beauty, amidst the constructions of what is deemed beautiful by Instagram. This study included 10 female informants aged 23 to 26 years, with different ethnic backgrounds, including ethnic Melayu, Batak, Minang, Banten, Betawi, Sundanese, Javanese, Papuan, Arabic and Chinese. All these ethnic groups are present and exist in the midst of Indonesian society, actively using Instagram and following Instagram influencers. This study uses the hyperreality theory of Jean-Paul Baudrillard, which includes simulacra, consumption and simulation. The results of this study show that Instagram creates a construction of which physical characteristics are beautiful through content uploaded by influencers. Secondly, the impact of this construction is such that followers of these influencers believe that their physical characteristics are not attractive and ultimately want to be like the influencers they see and follow on Instagram. Lastly, Instagram is a performative media such that the physical characteristics that are shown on the platform have often gone through alterations involving make-up, filters, and editing processes. Indonesian society, as a multicultural society, is faced with a dilemma when it comes to upholding values of beauty when the media highlights ‘beautiful’ physical characteristics that do not represent any ethnicity in Indonesia.

Keywords: Equality, Beauty, Social Media, Instagram

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