The Practices and Politics of a Relatable Brand
This chapter focuses on relatability as a branded relationship between bloggers and readers, and explores the associated practices required to maintain this relationship. In this public, presumptions of feminine commonality as ‘girlfriends’ underpin this branded relation. Producing the self as a relatable brand requires discipline and responsiveness, in order to produce the intimacy that facilitates the branded relationship between blogger and unknown audiences. It also requires the ability to articulate the personal as the general, in producing moments that are both representative of the self but also feminine experience that may be considered ‘common’ and ‘relatable’. Such generality associated with relatability, however, does not mean that the status of being relatable is universally available. Relatability is conceived of as a possessive attribute. General experience is conceived of as something that can be operationalised to demonstrate individual value, if cited with the right degree of specificity and in the correct affective tone. This conception of the self as representative of general experience must also be located within histories of whiteness and class privilege.
KeywordsBranding Value Discipline Representation Whiteness Class
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