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Intimacy And Value: Telling The Self Through Figures
Published 2018 · Psychology
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In this chapter, I use a figurative analysis in discussing how figures of the best friend, the Other girl, the hot guy, creep, and the boyfriend affectively circulate in the WSWCM public. Summoning a host of easily recognisable affects, narratives and consequences, these figures are invoked to tell a story about the self in ways that alternately suggest valuable affective qualities of resilience, moderation, likeability and desirability. The dialectical relation between the best friend and Other girl tells the self in terms of the ability to oscillate between desirable feminine affects such as warmth and care, but also discernment, and disciplinary judgment. While best friends mirror a normative self, Other girls are positioned as always on the ‘extremities’ and thus outside the boundaries of ‘normal’ femininity. The hot guy, boyfriend and the creep allow the self to be told in terms of active heterosexual desire as well as desirability. However, in keeping with the requirement to demonstrate an affective ‘moderation’, bloggers avow the problems in being able to successfully approach heterosexual love interests at the same time as demonstrating a taken-for-granted competency in evaluating and rejecting undeserving masculinities. The use of figures showcases the ability to balance relationships and their associated affects, and in doing so, tell the self in terms of individual relatable value.