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Bryn Torres Friedenberg

#ProjectPanPorn: Negotiating Worth Through Devotion and Images of Use


The term “panning” refers to the act of using up a makeup product to the point of revealing the metal pan in which the product is held. An online community has formed around this phenomenon – users share images and videos of products that they have panned or intend to pan on mainstream social media platforms such as YouTube, Reddit, Facebook and Instagram. Many women make projects out of this idea and call them “Project Pans,” and photographs of panned products are often called “Pan Porn” for their element of instant satisfaction and pleasure to the viewer.

Through discourse analysis of the panning community on YouTube, Reddit and Facebook, I will look at the ways in which women assert limited agency as consumers in late modern capitalism. Through panning, women perform and express gender, conscious consumerism, self-discipline, and individual and group identity. By sharing these panning images, women create physical and visual evidence of the extensive amounts of time that they dedicate to consuming these products past the point of purchase. Identity and time intersect in this space where women have built a community around negotiating what worth really means - both personal and material.




Rachel Stonecipher (COMM)

Emory Van Cleve (CIMS)