"Because I Need to Create My Own Universe". Bloggers on Instagram and the Creation of a Digital Photomimetic Self | Eitzinger | Visual Ethnography
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"Because I Need to Create My Own Universe". Bloggers on Instagram and the Creation of a Digital Photomimetic Self

Maria Eitzinger

Abstract


To grasp visually what a person represents is an increasingly important element for the social media generation1 (Senft and Baym 2015, Hall 2015, Hjorth and Hendry 2015). This is especially true for fashion bloggers and ‘Influencers’, who live – or try to live – off their blogs and/or Instagram accounts. Creating a specific visual universe on these platforms appears to be a common and crucial practice among these content producers. Based on a long-term anthropological fieldwork project among female fashion and lifestyle bloggers in Copenhagen, I look at bloggers online and offline in an attempt to make anthropological sense of what the
‘posting of images’ on Instagram is culturally and microsocially about. In this paper, I argue that this generation of bloggers constructs what I have termed a photomimetic self. They do this to create a recognizable digital
online self, crafting it to attract an audience, which, in turn – if large and rich enough – may attract lucrative collaborations with companies that want their brands marketed. Thus, the popularity of this visual and digital
identity is key for bloggers who wish to live off their postings. My central argument is that the photomimetic self, although portraying a ‘now’, projects a mimicked future; it is an ideal, phantasmic, a coat stand of dreams and wishes created to attract audiences in order to bring this future self into the life of the offline present self.

Keywords


Blogger; Instagram; photography; photomimetic self; visual representation; imagination; digital identity

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References


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ISSN Print 2499-9288
ISSN Online 2281-1605
Publisher Altrimedia Edizioni
Patronage University of Basilicata, Italy
Web Leonardo Di Benedetto



Periodico registrato presso il Tribunale di Matera, numero di registrazione 2/2014