Consuming the Objectified Self: The Quest for Authentic Self

  •  Yoo Jin Kwon    
  •  Kyoung-Nan Kwon    


This study explores the practice of “the selfie,” a self-portrait photograph, to understand what the selfie means to young adults. We examine how the people who take and share their selfies discover, present, and pursue their real selves and how this process is subject to social consumption practices. In-depth interviews with 66 young adults were conducted. Findings reveal three phases of authenticating acts in selfie practice: to embody, transfer, and use the self. The valued identity benefits that consumers obtain in selfie practice are identified; these are feeling connected, feeling in control, and feeling virtuous. Throughout the performance of multiple roles as photographers, models and users of selfie pictures, the young adults to take selfies reap benefits that are relevant to their identity projects and to their quest for their authentic selves.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.