Normalizing Piety Through Modesty: Fashion, Rituals, and Social Media in Indonesia 

Normalizing Piety Through Modesty: Fashion, Rituals, and Social Media in Indonesia 

When I was younger, veiling was only common for those who had just returned from
the hajj, the most sought after Islamic pillar. In this presentation I argue that women’s
decisions to veil is largely voluntary but also shaped by social pressures that can be
quite extreme, and accelerated by the fast pace of social media circulation in Indonesia.
Women’s decisions to become more pious are influenced by the overwhelming Islamic
nature of their environment which includes pronouncements by various Islamic cleric
and social media influencers and the liminality of seminal religious rituals. Both
Instagram and YouTube serves as platforms that allow ordinary people, celebrities and
social media influencers to converse, compliment, promote one another, promote
brands, make a career, and even attack the person they follow. My research examines
the constant social media conversations in Indonesia that attract young women and
influence their decision to wear veils. As social media becomes increasingly defined by
a homogenizing messages reflecting specific Islamic values and performative practices,
Indonesian women are increasingly influenced to perform piety in their dress and
voluntarily conform to wearing the veil.

Imelda Djatirman, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, UW-Madison

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *