The development of information technologies and the Internet has created an enormous economy. In line with this digital transformation, cultural change has come about. Global companies create new trends focused on vanity and pleasure in social media that follow the patriarchal capitalist ideology. Motherhood has also been included in this process, and “perfect motherhood,” as an extension to new generation motherhood, has been popularized on social media. Perfect motherhood requires mothers who are responsible for looking after children and the home to also be successful in their professional and personal lives while looking beautiful, young, chic, sexy, and fit. Recently the celebrification of motherhood, which can be seen on Instagram, became another quality added to the requirements of being a perfect mother. Heightened during the new post-COVID times, the “Instamom” phenomenon conceals the fact that women are driven to more states of increased precarity and vulnerability, alongside unemployment, exploitation, and ecological and economic crises. This study analyzes the perfect motherhood myth through Instamom case studies and attempts to show how Instamoms are perceived by mothers and mothers-to-be. By adopting the digital ethnography method, 30 Instamom accounts (with followers ranging from 135,000 to 3.5 million) in Turkey were observed for a year via passive participant observations. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six Instamoms and 12 follower mothers and mothers-to-be. In conclusion, it was discovered that Instamoms were perceived by their followers as exemplars of knowledge and beauty. Furthermore, the study revealed that both groups were part of the celebrification and branding process, and those who shared knowledge based on experience were considered sincere and created a bigger impression on their followers. It was also discovered that when sharing on social media, these Instamoms attempted to look their best. Moreover, Instamom accounts that prominently use children to increase viewer interaction demonstrate issues related to the “commercialization of childhood.” Tangible advice for transformative change is included at the end of the research.

Author Biography

Ebru Güzel is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Head of New Media and Communication Department at Istanbul Fenerbahçe University. She is the author of three books, including Eşikteki Çocuk #tween (2019), which won a national book award; Yeni Öncüler: Türkiye'de Toprağa Dönüş Hareketi ve Sağkalım (2020), which won a national and an international book award; and Janus: Güzelliğin "Çirkin" Yüzü (2022). Her main areas of research include communication anthropology, gender/women/children, beauty, and social media. E-mail id: ebru.guzel@fbu.edu.tr