Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet: Race, Gender, and the Work of Personal Style Blogging
Minh-Ha T. Pham is Assistant Professor in the Graduate Media Studies Program at the Pratt Institute. Her research has been featured in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Atlantic, the San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, NPR, Jezebel, and the Huffington Post.
The Racial and Gendered Job Performances of Fashion Blogger Poses
This chapter examines the omnipresent, often mocked, and little understood fashion blogger poses. Unlike professional fashion modeling poses, fashion blogger poses embody and enact aesthetics of inclusion rather than exclusion. Vernacular styles of posing, they represent authentic and real individual style. Set in everyday spaces and public nonplaces, fashion blogger poses locate fashion and style in bloggers’ everyday life rather than sequestered in corporate fashion’s highly guarded spaces. Asian superbloggers’ brand-name poses are value-producing job performances. And as with the job performances of many other minoritized workers, Asian superbloggers’ job performances have an added racial and gendered dimension of impression management to combat stereotypes. How fashion blogger poses both establish Asian superbloggers’ valuable role in the digital fashion media economy and they help them negotiate dominant relations of race, labor, and capitalism are the primary questions that chapter 4 answers. Analyzing two of only a few brand-name fashion blogger poses that exist—the Susie Bubble and BryanBoy poses—this chapter demonstrates how Asian superbloggers’ job performances accrue a significant amount of cultural, social, and financial capital that helps elevate their status in the blogosphere. Chapter 4 also considers the implications of these brand-name fashion blogger poses on critical understandings of the feminization of labor.