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Digital identity management: Old wine in new bottles

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Fashion and identity are inextricably linked. Consumers throughout the ages have strategically deployed apparel and other self-expressive products to signal real and aspirational personas and to pursue hedonic exploration and fantasy. Often these transformations are entrusted to aesthetic professionals such as clothing designers, cosmeticians and photographers.

Today, new technological platforms enable even the amateur to create a myriad of identities as she navigates the evolving virtual environment some call The Metaverse. But this is by no means a one-way journey; in some cases cyber-spatial experiences also impact on real-world identity. This article explores the theoretical and practical ramifications of digital identity management as consumers in the form of avatar representations make the passage from the physical world to the virtual, and back again.
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Keywords: avatars; body image; digital identity; impression management; self-concept; virtual worlds

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Saint Joseph's University, USA, and Manchester School of Business, UK.

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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  • Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty is the first journal dedicated to the critical examination of the fashion and the beauty systems as symbolic spaces of production and reproduction, representation and communication of artifacts, meanings, social practices, and visual or textual renditions of cloth, clothing and appearance.

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