We are What We Consume Selfie

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Today more so than ever, we are consumers and the act consumption is an important part of our life and our identity. This does not only extend to real life, but also encompasses our online life. As Hope Jensen Schau and Mary Gilly point out in an article in the Journal of Consumer Research, “consumption serves to produce a desired self through the images and styles conveyed through one’s possessions” (385); consumption is a tool of self-representation. As we are beginning to communicate more and more through online images, we often post photographs of the products/commodities we consume. Is it true that “we are what we post” (Jensen Schau and Gilly 386)? With this selfie, I wanted to show how easily I can represent several brand names with a single image. I wanted to show how we as consumers and handheld technology users we are beginning to do the advertising for the companies we buy from. This is an enormous marketing opportunity for companies, as we are doing the advertising for free and our “personal websites allow [us as] consumers to self-represent 24/7” (Jensen Schau and Gilly 387). In this selfie, I am advertising for Ray-Ban, Gap, Starbucks, and Calvin Klein- all with a single selfie. By sharing this photo with my social network, I am utilizing my ““personal Web space [as] a new venue [to] create and enact consumerbrand relationships” (Jensen Schau and Gilly 396-397). While most of us likely do not think much of this, posting these kinds of selfies “expresses the meanings [we] invests in the brand and the lifestyle it promotes” (Jensen Schau and Gilly 398); we are turning into cyber-billboards, promoting consumption and the consumerist lifestyle.

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