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Accepted Paper:

Creating the 'perfect look' but preserving the real self: Tracking cosmetic transformations through the iphone.  
Alexia Liakounakou (Independent researcher)

Paper short abstract:

The proposed paper looks at the use of the smartphone by Greek women who consume cosmetic injectables, and explores how the phone becomes a tool for tracking transformations, designing the ‘perfect look’, and preserving the real self.

Paper long abstract:

Mobile phones provide entertainment and information (Hoffner, Sangmi and Park 2000), but have now also become essential tools in the day-to-day management of one’s life, to the point where the phone ends up being an extension of the self. The proposed paper is a result of long-term participant observation amongst Greek women who consume cosmetic injectable products, and explores how the use of the smartphone’s camera and the photo gallery assists these women in tracking, assessing, and designing the ‘perfect look’. It also looks into the ways the phone becomes an objective mirror through which they view themselves. Due of the continuous and repetitive nature of cosmetic injectables, the women I study see the phone as a necessary tool in the tracking of their transformations and in keeping their self “in check” as to not “go overboard” with their treatments. Multiple and repetitive transformations on their faces and bodies often end up causing a loss of objectivity, which the phone’s images help preserve. The use of the smartphone then, becomes central in the quest to preserve the 'real' self while undergoing repetitive transformations. Through storing virtual "copies" of the self in the different stages of the journey of constant transformation, the phone has acquired yet another means of becoming an extension of the self.

Panel P13a
Towards an anthropology of future images: ethics, politics, and creativity
  Session 1 Friday 10 June, 2022, -