Visual Pleasure in Women’s Bodies within Indonesian Dangdut Musical Scene

  • Natalia Dwiniscahyaningtyas, Kandi Aryani Suwito


Background: Dangdut music is one of the ways through which public discourse on the visual pleasure in women’s bodies and sensuality makes an entrance. The existing controversies over the emergance of dangdut singers with their erotic and sensual impressions stir some pros and cons among the society. This leads to women’s body objectification in their position and function in the society within a patriarchal context.

Purpose: This research aimed to reveal how the society derives visual pleasure in women’s bodies as those exposed in the music video of a dangdut singing group.

Methods: This research adopted a qualitative approach. Serving as the research object was the opinions of six informants, female and male. Data collection was carried out by in-depth interview with the informants on their perspectives on visual pleasure in women’s bodies as those exposed in Duo Serigala’s music video. This research used a public reception analysis as the research method.

Results: Based on the analysis results, the informants’ derivation of visual pleasure was influenced by their backgrounds. Women’s identity in dangdut is subordinated to men through male gaze, which tends to be erotic and sensual. This research also revealed some influence of social class issues as well as religious and ethnicity-related discourses.

The male informants admitted that they took visual pleasure in the physical appearance and the dance performance of Duo Serigala. Contrarily, the female informants disapproved of the body image portrayal in the music video and admited to have no visual pleasure in the least bit in the music video.

Conclusion: There are pros and cons surrounding visual pleasure in women’s bodies from the perspective of gender identity.