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Between Professionalism and Amateurship: Makeup Discourse on YouTube

Giorgia Riboni
2017 Lingue Culture Mediazioni  
Over the last few years, brands have become increasingly aware of the marketing potential of social media and have been exploiting them as a component of their marketing effort. A strategy adopted in various industries is to co-opt social media celebrities and either employ or pay them to promote products, often without explicitly declaring it. This is common in the makeup industry, where a number of social media users are so popular that they have become (corporate) 'makeup gurus'. Their
more » ... gurus'. Their alleged amateur status is key to their success: by appearing economically disinterested they seem more trustworthy than corporations, thus being able to attract a wide follower base. On the other hand, makeup gurus have to depict themselves as valuable experts in order to appear credible both to the companies that supposedly hire them and to their fans. This study sets out to investigate the linguistic representation of makeup gurus' identity in texts collected from their YouTube channels in order to analyse the way in which their 'persona' (or 'edited self ') discursively stems from an ongoing negotiation between professionalism and amateurship. A critical discourse analytical approach is adopted as it arguably represents the most suitable tool to investigate social and, as in this case, professional (or amateurish) identities.
doi:10.7358/lcm-2017-001-ribo fatcat:634cu7we5nf4ha7yrfcr6wvu3y