Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

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Jocelyn Buckner


Once seen in black and white terms as human sustenance or luxury, eating has become not only a hobby, but an obsession. Whereas chefs and cooks were previously regarded as average, behind-the-scenes workers, they have now stepped out from the kitchen and into the spotlight, becoming celebrated public idols – and performers. With images tailored to different demographics right down to their clothing and hairstyles, chefs and cooks no longer merely prepare food: they put on a show. The foodie phenomena has been pioneered by females, largely in part to the parallel-running infatuation with health, fitness, and food trends that make waves primarily through the mediums of blogs and social media. In this thesis, I link the common characteristics between internet-made, blogger-gone-superstars such as Ella Woodward, creator of the Deliciously Ella brand with over 205,000 Instagram followers, The Pioneer Woman, the “accidental country girl and housewife,” and lifestyle guru Emily Schuman, the first food blogger to publish a popular book, to examine how and why the female foodie has become a new breed of celebrity. I argue that using social media, these women have established the ideal aspirational/inspirational image. The ‘ordinary’ masses are able to become familiar with exotic ingredients, preparation devices, and techniques that seem out of their reach, creating a sense of admiration; however, seeing the ‘Average Jo’ achieve fame on such media outlets gives them hope that anyone with a Smartphone and a love of food has the potential to become a star.


Presented at the Fall 2014 Undergraduate Student Research Day at Chapman University.