Photomimetic Self: because I need to create my own universe. Bloggers on Instagram and the creation of a digital photomimetic self

Maria Eitzinger

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To grasp visually what a person represents is an increasingly important element for the social media genereation(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 lifestylebloggers 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. 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 portrying 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.
TidsskriftVisual Ethnography
Udgave nummer2
Antal sider23
StatusUdgivet - 2019


  • Medier, kommunikation og sprog