Riley Lenane on Influencers & Self Care

02 Jun, 2021

Riley Lenane on Influencers & Self Care

The BCNM is pleased to offer several undergraduate research fellowships each year. Undergraduates are paired with our graduate students, who mentor them in research methodology. This year, Riley Lenane worked on Lyndsey Ogle's Influencers & Self Care. Ogle's project explores the performance of lifestyle Influencers engaged in the rhetoric of "self-care" and "wellness" on social media. Read more about her experience below.

This Spring, Riley worked on conducting online ethnographic research into the performance of lifestyle Influencers engaged in the rhetoric of “self-care” and "wellness" on social media. Lyndsey benefited greatly from Riley's knowledge about current influencer trends and notable social media figures in the wellness space. As a mentor, she was able to deepen the critical frame from which Riley interprets the political and ideological implications of self-care messaging and branding, particularly as they relate to gendered and racialized discourses of femininity and (post)feminism. In particular, Lyndsey aimed to mentor Riley through the development of an ethical and multi-modal research practice, that she might utilize both in future academic study and in professions within the realm of sustainable design.

From Riley:

During my time doing research with Lyndsey Ogle, I have completed a variety of tasks. I began my time by compiling a few lists of influencers based on their followers. Using Squarespace, I started the website in which I created a logo as well. I also made four mood boards that outlined the four aesthetics of the influencers we were looking at and what their intended audience liked. I was also assigned to watch the new BlogHer series and write down notes of key ideas and what I believed the audience who would engage with this material would look like. I have recently worked on creating an Instagram which goes by the name "Basic and Woke," where I have followed 100 accounts that I believe we should use as the subject of our research. Additionally, I have created PowerPoints which display examples of between 4-5 influencers' performance on a specific issue (ex. Black Lives Matter, health, etc.).