Pundit v. Life Bloggers: Two Visual Representations

Yeah, I've been thinking way too much about this. Seriously, I thought it would be good to have an appendix to my dissertation for these little finds, as they might not fit exactly into my analysis. I'd appreciate any comments you have, or any other visual representations of categories of bloggers.

The following are two possible results of a quiz on blogthings.com. I saw the quiz on Frogs and Ravens; Rana had taken it and gotten “Life Blogger” as a result. I didn't think anything about it at the time, but I did take the quiz myself just for fun, and I was a little surprised by my result:

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few

I still didn't pay attention to the representations in Rana's and my results until the next day, when I really looked at the image and noticed that this was a young, white man, upper-middle class judging from his trendy metrosexual look: He's thin, probably goes to the gym, has a haircut that looks carefully styled with product, hip little glasses, and a turtleneck that might have come from Barney's, Banana Republic, J.Crew, or the like. He has a flat-screen monitor, suggesting that he can afford relatively up-to-date technology, and while, admittedly, we can't see his whole desk, it looks like some I've seen in Pottery Barn and HoldEverything catalogs, whose merchandise is not that cheap. This isn't a guy who has to find an old door at a yard sale or in someone's trash and lay it across two metal filing cabinets, as some graduate students I know have had to do. His apartment is in a large city, as evidenced by the view, and he has a lovely view from a large window up high, suggesting a penthouse. He sits at his desk, supporting his chin with one hand but not really leaning into it. His gesture, as well as his facial expression with lips pursed, is that of a critical, thinking skeptic who is humoring the writer he's reading and who might soon turn that writer's argument upside down. The position and facial expression remind me a lot of Joshua Micah Marshall's blog photograph:

Then I went and looked at the “Life Blogger” image again.

You Are a Life Blogger!

Your blog is the story of your life - a living diary.
If it happens, you blog it. And make it as entertaining as possible.

The scene reminds me a little of Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex and the City,” who sits with her laptop at her desk, or sometimes in bed, often with a cigarette, musing and writing her column while we hear her voiceover saying something like: “I couldn't help but wonder: Can women have sex like men?” Or, “Is old the new young?” This woman, like the pundit, is attractive according to mainstream cultural conventions, young, and white. She's also well-coiffed, suggesting that she either got her hair blown out at a salon to get that perfect little Jennifer Aniston-style flip or that she has plenty of leisure time to style her own hair. Its rich auburn shade could be natural, but could also be the work of a professional colorist. Her eyebrows look deliberately shaped, and she's wearing lipstick to match her hair. Like the pundit, her clothing could have come from Banana Republic or J.Crew. The Life Blogger's laptop has the look of a newish iBook (just like the one I'm typing on now, I must point out), and her leaning-back, arms-behind-head position suggests that she's just written a post, hunched over, and is now stretching out her arms, neck, and back, as I do myself periodically as I work. Replacing Carrie Bradshaw's cigarette are two aromatherapy candles, possibly sage and fig or sandalwood based on the colors, and the scent moves around the woman, touching her nose as it wafts away. Her facial expression is calm, serene, and satisfied. Her blogging is therapy just as her candles are. Her body is willowy and feminine.

In sum, these images are firmly raced/classed, and deeply gendered. The artist seems to be having fun with twenty/thirtysomething middle-class “Friends” stereotypes. I'd love to be able to talk with him or her to see if everything I've pointed out in these images was deliberate. Noteworthy too are the captions underneath the images. The pundit's blog is “smart, insightful, and always a quality read.” The life blogger's is “a living diary,” and is “entertaining.” I also think it's telling that the pundit's blog occupies a position, a rank in an implicit hierarchy much like the Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem or the Technorati Top 100: it is “truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few” (emphasis mine).


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I got pundit blogger, but I d

I got pundit blogger, but I definitely don't look like that!

Dr. B.'s Blog


I LOVE your analysis! You are quite right. Btw, I got Life Blogger--but evidently, I don't look anything like that. I also never use candles. At any rate, great job!


I'm a Snarky Blogger

First, insightful analysis Clancy. If a woman were a pundit blogger - she'd definatley be thin, coiffed, white, probably in a suit, probably with thick rimmed glasses. A representation man life blogger? That is too far of a stretch for popular culture (my hunch).

But the snarky blogger - is carrying a lap top, white, very young and looks more like an anime character - quite distinct from the pundit/life blogger. She is wearing a leather trenchcoat and wears thigh-high boots. She is also situated in an abstract environment - fire.

(I'd look cute in the thigh-high boots whist I drop my kids at daycare)


What about this one?

Great post, CR. I got "pundit" too, but then I went back to see what else I could get. Check this one out:
You Are a Look At Me Blogger!

Cute pics, blog drama, whatever it takes to get traffic. You're notorious ... either loved or hated by all!
The pigtail-anime thing is interesting enough, but what's with the toilet?

You mean you don't blog on th

You mean you don't blog on the toilet?

And they're both white

2 Board Alley
He's really white--a kind of unhealthy, pasty white, actually. And the second thing I noticed was the pigeonholing: she writes an entertaining diary, he writes an insightful blog that nearly everyone reads.
I guess the bigger question would be to ask if this kind of gender stereotyping is typical of this specific quizmaker/artist or not.
Keep us posted.


also the Pundit Blogger appears to be left-handed!

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