- SMC Spring Speakers: ‘Fashion and Celebrity 2.0: Reconciling Discourses of Authenticity and Self-Promotion in an Era of Social Media’
- February 22, 2013 2:00 pm
- February 22, 2013 3:30 pm
- Category: School of Media and Communication
- Annenberg Hall, Room 3
2020 North 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19122, United States
Communication and Media Studies
“All Wanna Be (Internet) Famous: Micro-Celebrity and Authenticity Online”
Celebrity is inextricably interlinked to media. A celebrity is celebrated on a large scale, and without media, his or her images and actions cannot spread beyond a limited local audience. Thus, as media has changed over the last several hundred years, so has celebrity. In the last two decades, we have seen dramatic changes in the concept of celebrity from one related solely to broadcast media to one that reflects a more diverse media landscape. In this talk, Marwick will discuss how social media has created a new definition of celebrity as a set of practices, self-presentation techniques and subjectivities that spread across social graphs as they are learned from other individuals. In these contexts, celebrity becomes something a person does, rather than something a person is, and exists as a continuum rather than a binary quality. Using examples from fashion bloggers and members of the San Francisco technology scene, she will delve into micro-celebrity, a type of self-presentation technique in which people view themselves as a public persona to be consumed by others, use strategic, “authentic” intimacy to appeal to others, and view their audience as fans.
Department of Advertising
“The Romance of Work: Authenticity, Community and Other Fashion Blogging Myths”
Over the last decade, fashion blogging has emerged as a distinct culture and practice of online content creation that involves (mostly female) diarists producing and distributing fashion and style-related images, information, and personal commentary. Much of the media coverage of fashion blogs situates them within a distinct moment of cultural production defined by destabilized, decentralized, and democratized flows of media. Duffy argues, however, that such narratives are both limited and limiting in that they fail to provide a productive framework to understand the nuanced cultures and political economies of fashion blogging. This research draws upon a textual analysis of the Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) online community to show how fashion blogging is constructed through an interrelated series of “identity myths”: 1). The authenticity myth, or the notion that fashion bloggers are “just regular people with a passion for fashion”; 2). The autonomy myth, or the construction of blogging as an individualized form of self-expression; and 3). The egalitymyth, or the positioning of blogging as a community-oriented, democratic social space. Such myths, she argues, often contradict the actual discourses and practices taking place within the IFB network and ostensibly conceal the very real ways that fashion blogging resembles “traditional” creative industries and professions. Far from being authentic, autonomous, and community-oriented, the emergent organization of fashion blogging is increasingly hierarchical, market-driven, quantifiable, and self-promotional.