Empire of the Self
Life Writing and the Professional Persona of the Lifestyle Blogger
Keywords:Lifestyle Blogging, Professional Persona, Diary, Authenticity
This article explores how lifestyle blogs use life writing to establish a professional persona and an aura of authenticity that is necessary for maintaining a community of readers. Utilizing close readings of lifestyle blogs across a spectrum of personas, I argue that these two purposes often come into conflict, creating a precarious dynamic for lifestyle bloggers that they attempt to manage through their use of the diary, which is deployed in two key ways. The first is through the use of the diaristic mode, a reflexive and revelatory discourse that disrupts the façade of the self-brand and underscores the blogger’s authenticity. The diary is also used as a prescriptive disciplinary practice in order to create didactic and formulaic narratives that can be readily consumed and replicated but that often result in a sense of inauthenticity.
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