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This chapter examines the video-sharing platform Vine, which allows users to upload very short (6.5-second) self-made videos set to play on loop. Vine has been noted for promoting content by its Black contributors, and girls and young women are a significant presence on the site, but who profits when their user-generated vine content goes viral? This chapter examines the case study of Peaches Munroee, a Black American teenager whose video “Eyebrows on Fleek” went viral in 2014, and who fought to take ownership of the viral commodity that she created. By tracing the contours and conditions for this video’s success and analysing how girlhood and race are integral to Munroee’s self-presentation, this chapter shows how representations of Black girlhood circulate as valuable and highly “shareable” commodities.
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In this chapter I indicate the medium of the vine loop video using the word “vine” (not capitalised), and I indicate the Vine website using “Vine” (capitalised).
The site lists the following genre categories: animals, art, comedy, edits, music & dance, sports, and weird (Vine Labs, Inc. 2017). Of the seven categories that organise the archive into genres, “comedy” is the most populous by a long way, clocking up a total of 10.7 billion loops. The second largest category is “animals”, with a little over 6 billion loops.
Please note that Son Vivienne has previously published under the name Sonja Vivienne, including the text that I reference here. In-text I refer to Son as Son rather than Sonja.
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- Eyebrows on What? Girls and Viral Economies
- Chapter 7