From “Hot Mommies” to Differently Abled Mothers: Diverse Portrayals of Mothering in an Indonesian Women’s Magazine
Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
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AbstractMothering and motherhood are among two key components of the construction of femininity. This study examined how mothering is embodied and performed by various women in Femina, Indonesia’s most popular women’s magazine, which targets primarily middle- or upper-middle-class women in their twenties and thirties. The sample set consisted of 17 portrayals of women as mothers in Femina during the years 2015 and 2016. We found that Femina depicts various ways in which women can function as mothers while remaining contented and balancing their different roles; in doing so, the magazine encourages a feminine and feminist celebration of mothering. Femina’s representations allow for the bridging and embracing of differences while at the same time constructing an ideal notion of femininity that highlights women’s ability to be successful in each of the multiple domains they enter, including their role as a mother.