Eating, Looking and Living Clean: Techniques of White Femininity in Contemporary Neoliberal Food Culture

Wilkes, Karen (2021) Eating, Looking and Living Clean: Techniques of White Femininity in Contemporary Neoliberal Food Culture. Gender, Work and Organization. ISSN 0968-6673

Wilkes. Eating Looking and Living Clean_ Accepted.pdf - Accepted Version

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This article contributes to Gender Work and Organization’s Special Themed Section on Foodwork, by addressing the intersects of race, gender and class in representations of labour, whiteness and neoliberalism in popular and digital food cultures. The discussion responds to the journal’s call for papers by examining the clean eating trend as a vehicle for the ideals of white femininity, and the techniques of femininity that are employed to convey messages of normalcy and exceptionalism in this contemporary popular food culture. In the analysis of an article in the high-end home interiors magazine, Elle Decoration, the visual authoritativeness of clean eating advocates is considered to highlight the strategies and devices used to deploy ideals of white femininity and to create boundaries around a remodelled white female neoliberal self. The article aims to advance current debates regarding digital foodwork, by examining the aesthetics of whiteness that are contained within the message of relatability communicated by social media food influencers. Thus, in keeping with the broader concerns of the journal, the article addresses developments in the fields of gender and digital labour, with respect to the overwhelming dominance of privileged white women in this sphere and the aesthetics of their labour, which has thus far received limited attention within existing debates.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
10 January 2021Accepted
10 January 2021Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: clean eating, neoliberalism, whiteness, postfeminists, class
Subjects: CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-01 - sociology, social policy and anthropology > CAH15-01-02 - sociology
CAH24 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01-05 - media studies
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Criminology and Sociology
Depositing User: Karen Wilkes
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2021 09:13
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 16:16

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