Raccontare i tabù: Instagram come una risorsa di nuovi immaginari e visibilità per il corpo femminile


  • Elisabetta Locatelli Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Parole chiave:

Instagram, corpo femminile, tabù, parto, mestruazioni


In recent years visual representations of the female body on social media have multiplied also by healthcare professionals, that use social media within self-entrepreurial projects. The entanglement of these instances constitutes an original research field that was investigated through a composite framework of analysis with the aim of studying the relationship between popularization and taboo operated in a corpus of accounts and posts related to the obstetric profession on Instagram, concerning the liminal issues of childbirth and the menstrual cycle. A qualitative multi-methodology was employed that included interviews, visual and discourse analysis.   The article presents the preliminary results of the research, showing that Instagram appears to be aimed at normalizing discourses related to childbirth and the menstrual cycle, underlining the importance of bringing these issues to visibility and building paths of knowledge and awareness for women. For doing this, they alternate the registers of scientific dissemination and empathy. As regards childbirth, their goal is to move away from hospital medicalization and restore agency to women within the birth scene. About menstruation, they present new management strategies, starting with the de-normalization of pain. In both cases the desire is to help women to have “happy” experiences. The objective, while present, of promoting the midwives’ profession, is accompanied by the urgent need to educate and promote among women self-knowledge of their body. Research results seem to lead beyond the use of social media in a neo-liberal way exclusively centered on the self-fulfillment. Moreover, the centering on the self, typical of post-feminism and neoliberal feminism, seems to have been overcome, at least partially, as the contents refer to a relational and communitarian dimension. Given the breadth of the issues raised, more studies are needed to better understand the logics of visibility and the visual representations of the female body, but also the use of social media as tools for self-entrepreneurship.

Biografia autore

Elisabetta Locatelli, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Elisabetta Locatelli (Ph.D) è docente a contratto di Media e Reti Sociali e Digital Media presso l’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. La sua attività di ricerca si concentra su platform society, social media e rappresentazione del corpo femminile, digital influencer, social media e comunicazione della salute ed etica della ricerca sui social media. Fra il 2017 e il 2019 è stata parte dell’Ethics Working Group dell’Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR). Fra le più recenti pubblicazioni: Platformization of healthcare communication: Insights from the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. Catalan Journal of Communication & Cultural Studies, 2021 (con A. Lovari); Towards the platformization of (social) media memory: articulating archive, assemblage, and ephemerality. Comunicazioni Sociali. Journal of Media, Performing Arts and Cultural Studies 2021; Influencers as socio-technical actors: mapping the paths of influence and the traces of the digital influencers’ system in Italy, Journal of Sociocybernetics, 2020.




Come citare

Locatelli, E. (2021). Raccontare i tabù: Instagram come una risorsa di nuovi immaginari e visibilità per il corpo femminile. Mediascapes Journal, (18), 29–42. Recuperato da https://rosa.uniroma1.it/rosa03/mediascapes/article/view/17819