Mothering 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.

Author Biography

Aquarini Priyatna is currently teaching in the Department of Literature and Cultural Studies, Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia. She holds a Master’s degree from the Institute for Women’s Studies Lancaster University, UK (2002) and another Master’s Degree from the Women’s Studies Post-Graduate Program, Universitas Indonesia (2003). She completed her PhD, which looked at celebrity auto/biographies, at the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, Monash University, Australia. aquarini@unpad.ac.id

Lina Meilinawati Rahayu is the head of the Indonesian Studies Program, Faculty of Cultural Sciences Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Indonesian Literature from Universitas Padjadjaran working on translated dramas. Her master’s degree, which she obtained at Universitas Indonesia, also looked at Indonesian dramas. She completed her doctoral degree in performance art at the Universitas Gadjah Mada discussing the adaptation of text into performance.

Mega Subekti is a junior lecturer in the Department of Literature and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Cultural Sciences Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia. He holds a Master’s degree in Contemporary Literature. His current designation is on French Literature and Cultural Studies.