“Celebrate your bloom story”
An Automedia Analysis of Social Media Influencers
Using 27-year-old Canadian beauty blogger Estée Lalonde as a site of automedia analysis (Maguire 2015), this paper argues that through the enactment of domestic femininity in the public sphere, social media influencers embody postfeminist ideals of individual empowerment while selling their branded selves through networked intimacy (Abidin 2015; Gill, 2016). Methodologically, I approach the case study with an understanding of the intersection between online platforms of the intersection between online platforms, life writing, and constructions of the self. Using cross-promotion, scheduled posts, and self-branding, influencers create a cohesive branded self, emphasizing perceived authenticity and a sense of community among followers. The exercise of self-branding is used to gain cultural and material capital (Hearn, 2008). Understanding postfeminism as an analytical lens through which we can problematize media texts (Gill, 2016), I argue that influencer marketing privileges a one-dimensional, postfeminist representation of an empowered young woman following her life’s passion (Duffy & Hund, 2015).
Copyright (c) 2019 Alora Paulsen Mulvey
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