Linor Goralik, HSE Moscow, MSSES. Getting Better Soon: The Self-Improvement Aspirations and Refinery Rhetoric During the Covid-19 Quarantine

While some have seen (and keep seeing) the COVID-19 quarantine, isolation and self-isolation period as a lay-back-and-relax time regarding fashion, grooming and beautification, others define this sudden period of relative privacy and compulsory solitude as an opportunity that calls for radical action: rigorous fitness practices, weight loss programs, skin improvement routines, radical wardrobe reviews, hair makeovers, even at-home teeth whitening are all seen as instruments that might allow these quarantinees to re-emerge “when all this is over” as the new, better version of themselves. These and other instruments of intensive self-improvement often appear on the lists of “quarantine resolutions” (or “isolation resolutions”, — the “isolutions”), while resembling the familiar genre of New Year resolutions etc., become a source of self-disappointment and frustration even quicker, — for exogen and endogen reasons altogether. How are these resolutions constructed, how are they different from the usual aspirations of the same kind and what do they tell us about the here-and-now quarantine culture?

Linor Goralik