Around the mid-2000s, the first wave of young Thai women who attained fame organically on the internet emerged when their photos and profiles were widely shared by friends and fans in web communities and discussion forums. Comprising mainly of students, these women were known as “net idols” and celebrated primarily for their looks, as online conversations focused on their beauty, cosmetic and dressing skills, and overall pleasant appearance. Since then, some of these net idols have parlayed their online popularity into commercial exchanges and partnerships by advertising for clients, evolving into a commercial form of microcelebrity known as “influencers” (Abidin, 2016), while still others progressed into different forms of internet celebrity confined only to online fame as social capital without further tangible returns. In this chapter, we review the conceptual history of net idols and a subset of influencers known as “beauty bloggers” in Thailand, drawing on observations and content analyses of net idols’ Instagram posts, beauty bloggers’ Facebook posts, conversations from selected discussion boards, and popular sentiment about these internet celebrities in tabloids and online websites. Most of the content is originally in Thai and translated by the first author.
Limkangvanmongkol, V. and Abidin, C. (2018), "Net Idols and Beauty Bloggers’ Negotiations of Race, Commerce, and Cultural Customs", Abidin, C. and Brown, M.L. (Ed.) Microcelebrity Around the Globe, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 95-106. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78756-749-820181009
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