Week Seven

Using Videos to construct the Yogic identity

Welcome to week seven! I am going to look at how Tara, Kathryn and Heidi construct their digital identities online through the use of video. This is a way to showcase their personality and gave me an opportunity to study their body language and character traits in further detail.

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(Image from Tara Stiles Eats page)

Below is a YouTube Video of Tara preparing a vegan meal in her home kitchen for a YouTube channel called ’Live Strong Woman.’ .

At the start of the video I can see that Tara is smiling and dancing around her kitchen, showing that she has a fun and a happy nature to her personality. From showing a video cooking at home, she portrays that she is a normal woman who can relate to other women in the world who cook from home too. This takes the light away from her being a high-profile celebrity which some people in the community may find intimidating. On the other hand, her large, nicely decorated kitchen may not be relative to the sustainable, minimalist lifestyle which traditional yogis follow.

From observing her language she uses phrases such as “really healthy”, “great to detox”, “chopped goodness”, “so fresh and awesome” and “pretty darn good for you.” This portrays that Tara is health conscious and describes the benefits of the dish which is relative to the vegan and health conscious nature of Yogis.

The phrase “I like to eat bright colours” reflects that Tara has a bright personality. She uses the word amazing a lot which also reflects her positive personality traits.

37,306 people liked this video which shows Tara’s huge presence in the online community. There is a small discussion around the video, which mainly reflect positive feedback towards her recipe and also her identity.

An example of positive feedback towards her personality and not the food itself is: “I love how excited she is about every recipe. It’s adorable. Also if I make this stuff I will apparently make friends.”

This comment shows the enthusiasm towards Tara’s personality and not the actual recipe itself which shows Tara has created a positive identity through her cooking video. The member of the community also acknowledges that cooking is related to friendship and being social.

Like with Tara, I decided to look at a video representation of how Kathryn constructs her identity online through the use of YouTube. The video below is a short clip of how Kathryn thinks yogis should eat.

From what I have concluded in the video, she is sitting in a relaxed position with her dog. This paints the picture of Tara being an animal lover which is another attribute which can be related to the topic of Ahimsa. If the interview is set in her home, then the background of the image portrays a very luxurious back garden and designer looking curtains which again may reflect materialistic objects in her life.

When evaluating her language there are certain phrases which match some of the trends I have found recently. I have noticed that all the yogis I have looked at cook for themselves, avoid processed/pre packaged food, use food to be social, avoid meat ect. Kathryn has confirmed these trends with the following phrases. ‘Alot of yogis would say no meat’, ‘meat can be very heavy’, ‘cut out processed foods’, ‘learn to cook’, ‘improve social life’ and ‘i think every yogi should eat Quinoa.’

As mentioned, I have found that Tara and Kathryn have used subtle hints to project the value of Ahimsa in their lives, therefore I decided to delve further into this topic to see if Kathryn ever talks about Ahimsa.The next video I have found below talks about how Kathryn incorporates certain values in her life which she carries through life on and off the mat.  This does not really related to food, however she does mention the value of Ahimsa in her life. “It is called Ahimsa, non violence to your body, taking care of yourself.”

Like Tara and Kathryn, I looked to see if Heidi utilised YouTube to construct her identity through food. I found this video which involved her ‘veganising’ cream spinach.

From drawing quick conclusions of the video, it does not seem as rehearsed as Tara’s cooking video which has an introduction but it a lot more laid back and simple. ‘I love a challenge’ can also be linked to the determined nature of yogis when challenging themself through their Yoga practice on the mat.

The phrases ‘fresh organic spinish’ ‘vegan marginine’, ‘vegan cream cheese’ relate to Vegan values and health consciousness which we have seen ties in with the Yogic identity.

She smiles throughout the video and has positive body language which demonstrates her positive, warm attitude associating to the nature of the yogi personality.

Thankyou for observing my journey this week!

Namaste! 🙂

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