Society for Cultural Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
This paper examines millennial food blogs as sites for the expression of identity and entrepreneurism online. My research considers five highly acclaimed blogs—Natasha’s Kitchen, Hemsley and Hemsley, Betty Liu, Deliciously Ella, and Hello My Dumpling—and the women bloggers who produce them. I argue that, beyond food aesthetics and guidance such as recipes, the blogs act as sites for the fashioning of personhood including portrayals of the bloggers’ roles as mothers, photographers, entrepreneurs, and foodies. Drawing on data collected from their blog posts about food, life, health, and body, I want to understand how these spaces foster opportunities for social mobility and the craft of authorial and cosmopolitan selves. Through an analysis of how bloggers employ trendy website aesthetics, autobiographical anecdotes, and entrepreneurial enterprises, I explore how bloggers enact aspirations of class and neoliberal ideas of success. My paper also seeks to show how these blogs shape meanings and deliver dicta about diet, self, and the body that are simultaneously legitimizing and prescriptive for millennial readers. Ultimately, I want to understand how digital spaces such as food blogs and the idiosyncratic styles individuals employ to produce them are compelling sites for anthropology and warrant further understanding.