The Online Domestic Goddess: An Analysis of Food Blog Femininities

Alexandra Rodney, Sarah Cappeliez, Merin Oleschuk, Josée Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Scholars have explored how female food celebrities represent a realm of fantasy and desire, embodying attractive “domestic goddesses” who showcase the wonder and seduction of home-cooked meals. These studies have largely focused on television personalities and have overlooked the food blogosophere, a highly popular, digital realm of food media dominated by women. The blogosphere has its own prominent food personalities and occupies a central role as a source of information and inspiration for home cooks. This paper investigates how idealized food femininities manifest on popular food blogs by examining 426 blog posts written by twenty-two award-winning, female food bloggers. These bloggers forward a vision of idealized feminine domesticity that is glamorously seductive and rooted in the “real” life of everyday home cooks. This article illuminates food blogs’ paradoxical combination of idealization and mundanity. It argues that the online domestic goddess exemplifies women’s need to balance multiple, seemingly contradictory ideals: she must embody domestic success, while avoiding associations of perfectionism, excessive control, or laziness. This study of female bloggers nuances scholarly understanding of the domestic goddess fantasy by revealing the deep tensions in women’s food blogs, particularly the challenge of crafting a credible and appealing feminine voice in a postfeminist context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-707
Number of pages23
JournalFood, Culture and Society
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • calibration
  • femininity
  • food blogs
  • foodwork
  • gender
  • postfeminism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies

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