A Sense of Self

I have been writing my thesis dissertation for the last couple of months, and with the draft due tomorrow afternoon, it is slowly but surely coming together! I thought I would share a snippit to give you an idea of what i’m writing about, so here it is! This features at the beginning of the piece, and hopefully establishes clearly what I am trying to do with the discussion! It is obviously copyrighted to myself, and will be submitted as part of my degree award. Comments are as always, more than welcome!

The celebrity chef is not a mere means of acquiring interesting food recipes. The cook books they author are embodiments of objectified desires and gender roles in our society. The recipes they share, and the way they are presented to us host a whole range of ideologies about our society and it’s given aspirations. You essentially are who you eat, or more accurately- have aspirations to be more like them, as they reflect ongoing social constructs in our culture, and tap into the psyche of the generation to appear to hold the key for patching modern cultural gaps, and dissolve issues of globalisation through the food we choose to make and eat in our personal lives.

To start this discussion we will look at the notion of a celebrity in our society, going on to tie the idea of a celebrity together with notions of food, and how when combined they create the ultimate commodity, one which is perceived as entertainment, and as pleasant – but one which has complex relationships with our lives and constantly pulls on our purse strings.

The discussion will then focus into more detail on the notion of the celebrity chef, and about how under the umbrella of celebrity chef, there is a clear, distinct difference in the presentation and representation of gender roles. I will do this by comparing the visual representation of Nigella Lawson, with that of her male counterpart, Jamie Oliver, examining how each is represented through a strict lens of gender differentiation. This should result in some insight into how the way we subconsciously read the framing of recipes, echoes a media created desire within us to essentially construct, or cook up these ideas of ourselves – to set them out in front of ourselves, and to eat them, to digest them and have them inside us, temporarily satisfying our desire to address the complex personal and social issues addressed in the design and presentation of the recipes which we choose to make.

Foof! Now, back to writing 🙂

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