Globalisation in terms of Social Media
‘Food blogging, the new foundation of cultural stereotypes’
In recent years social media platforms such as ‘Instagram’ have seen a rapid growth of food bloggers. ‘A complex interweaving of gourmet interest in cooking with those of blog writing and photography. The majority of blogs use pictures taken by the author himself/herself and some of them focus specifically on food photography’ (Cox Pg.4).
With the idea of ‘technoscapes’ a flow of global technology has increased, making Instagram an internationally used media app. Therefore, on platforms such as Instagram, users are open to viewing images of foods from all cultures. Subsequently, this comprises of additional utensils and props within the images e.g. chopsticks, and bamboo boards. These props can be used appropriately, however are commonly misused for aesthetic purposes only. Consequently, this leads to unintentional cultural appropriation.
A commonly misused food symbol on media is ‘chopsticks’. In Asian countries if chopsticks are seen standing vertically upwards from a bowl this is representative as rude. Photographic stylists on Instagram commonly stylise Asian dishes with the chopsticks sticking out from the bowl which is mistreating Asian culture, particularly Chinese who’s culture uses this symbol to signify a burning incense to denote an individual’s death.
The incorrect and offensive use of food stylists also plays part in a larger concern of misrepresentation of ethnic food groups. This issue being that bloggers are now reinventing traditional cultural dishes however still promoting them as being a customary cultural dish (e.g. Sushi made with a fruit filling).
Food critic Celeste Noche states
“Food media is predominantly generated by white people for white people, so when the subject veers toward anything outside of the Western canon, it’s not uncommon to see things generalized, exotified, or misrepresented,” (Noche, 2017).
The international community of Instagram users are being exposed to cultural racism within the global village of international foods. The imperial domination of multicultural foods being disseminated to Western Countries is fuelling food bloggers racist posts due to the lack of education that arises with the introduction of the food. Bloggers are reviewing food products and underlying them to the wrong culture. For example, in recent months a well-known food blogger used chopsticks for stylistic purposes in the background of a Filipino recipe photograph. This was taken to offense by Filipinos and other Asian cultures as they eat with a knife and fork and not with chopsticks.
The exotic foods now available in Westernised countries is being portrayed incorrectly due to these bloggers uneducated decisions which lead to cultural misrepresentation.
The cultural heterogenization that surrounds this topic is deflated by Westernised food bloggers taking culture, and manipulating it through the formulation of uneducated conclusions. The only physical way society can alter these stereotypes is by breaking away from ‘White’ and ‘Westernised’ society being the base of media portrayals. But, rather accept theassortment of culturally diverse individuals who are now consuming media platforms.
A Sweet Pea Chef. 2017. How To Monetize A Food Blog • A Sweet Pea Chef. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.asweetpeachef.com/how-to-monetize-a-food-blog-concrete-examples/. [Accessed August 10, 2017].
Christopher James Clark. 2017. Showdown: PC Culture Takes on “Racist Food Blogging” | Christopher James Clark. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.christopherjamesclark.com/blog/showdown-pc-culture-takes-on-racist-food-blogging/. [Accessed August 12, 2017].
Cox, Andrew M. (2011). “Information and food blogging as serious leisure” (PDF). Aslib Proceedings, Pg 4 [Accessed August 12, 2017].
Your food Instagram posts may be perpetuating racist stereotypes. 2017. Your food Instagram posts may be perpetuating racist stereotypes. [ONLINE] Available at: https://mic.com/articles/169996/your-food-instagram-posts-are-probably-perpetuating-racist-stereotypes#.eiKgbHsj7. [Accessed August 13, 2017].