Date of Award
Master of Arts in Communication Studies
First Reader/Committee Chair
With the advancement of digital and social media come innovative forms of self-expression and creativity. This M.A. thesis manuscript studies how content creators on the fast-growing social media platform, TikTok, arrange aesthetics, trends, and discourse to promote self-care through hegemonic beauty and wellness standards while empowering themselves through postfeminist sensibilities. Much like early beauty standards set by social media applications such as Instagram, TikTok (along with its algorithm and users) is (re)defining femininity by asking women to look at reexamine their appearance and mentalities to better themselves internally for the sake of self-improvement. Trends such as That Girl illustrate lifestyles that commercialize wellness, organization, and beauty while simultaneously engaging in rhetoric reproducing problematic gender relations, postfeminist values, and hegemonic beauty standards. Using a critical cultural approach, I examine how the mediatization of wellness and beauty essentially illustrates Western culture's transformation of mindfulness into a productivity method and asks participating women to partake in trending practices while pursuing an illusion of control in their daily lives.
Molinar, Irene, "THE PATRIARCHY BECOMES THAT GIRL: TIKTOK AND THE MEDIATIZATION OF HEGEMONIC FEMININITY" (2023). Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations. 1644.