New Criticals

DIY Femininity: Food Blogs and the Labour of Intimacy

As a first-generation Australian immigrant, I have always been curious about people’s homes. While school explicitly presented and enforced hegemonic models of studenthood that were easy to follow, I always attributed my feelings of alienation and difference to that mysterious and private sphere of the home.

Imagine my fascination, then, when as an adult I discovered the world of food blogs where performances of hegemonic femininity and domesticity are narrated as clearly as the instructional recipes that are clearly of secondary importance to the logic of these texts. Woman after woman draws us in with light-flooded photos of her kitchen; intimate confessions of motherhood; the mundane details of family life. These are reproductions of traditional domesticity more faithful than any mainstream media text could hope to get away with while, simultaneously, their individually-authored, bottom-up production methods present a new challenge for feminist media scholars.