Departmental Papers (ASC)


Sarah Banet-Weiser

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version


Publication Source

Social Media + Society

Start Page


Last Page





Arguing that questions of power expressed through aesthetic form are too often left out of current approaches to digital culture, this article revives the modernist aesthetic category of glamour in order to analyze contemporary forms of platformed cultural production. Through a case study of popular feminism, the article traces the ways in which glamour, defined as a beguiling affective force linked to promotional capitalist logics, suffuses digital content, metrics, and platforms. From the formal aesthetic codes of the ubiquitous beauty and lifestyle Instagram feeds that perpetuate the beguiling promise of popular feminism, to the enticing simplicity of online metrics and scores that promise transformative social connection and approbation, to the political economic drive for total information awareness and concomitant disciplining, predicting and optimizing of consumer-citizens, the article argues that the ambivalent aesthetic of glamour provides an apt descriptor and compelling heuristic for digital cultural production today.

Copyright/Permission Statement

Alison Hearn & Sarah Banet-Weiser. “The Beguiling: Glamour In/As Platformed Cultural Production.” Social Media + Society, January 2020 Copyright © [2020] (Sage). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications


digital media, platforms, aesthetics, feminism, glamour

Included in

Communication Commons



Date Posted: 20 February 2023

This document has been peer reviewed.