“I’ve Become Happier Now That I blog”. Performing Selves in Finnish Fashion Blogs

2/2012

Elina Noppari & Mikko Hautakangas

So called personal fashion blogs are diary-like blogs that present the lifestyle of individuals (mainly young women) on a wide scale. They can be seen as virtual spaces where bloggers “perform selves” in the form of stories and imagery. These self-performances are produced and constantly evaluated in interaction with the readers, i.e. the audience community willing to comment and contribute. Personal fashion blogosphere can be seen as peer-to-peer media where norms of normality and ordinariness are being defined and negotiated.

This article is based on a research project conducted in the University of Tampere in 2011. The empirical research material discussed here consists mainly of interviews with the bloggers and the content analysis of blog posts. The interviews show that the sense of being able to control the personal publicity and the boundaries of private and public is an important part of the blogging experience. It should be noted, however, that the self-performances produced in the personal fashion blogs are constructed in relation to the logic of consumer culture that surrounds the fashion blogosphere (e.g. co-operation with businesses and traditional fashion media). Thus these self-performances can be interpreted as responses to the demands of our culture: the fashion bloggers make use of their style and personality constructed in the blog – their cultural capital – in order to gain social and economic capital.