Do social media influencers promote objectification or just cater the demand? Should we allow a ‘power group’ to decide what is empowering and what is not?

  • Editors
  • June 1, 2019
  • Comments Off on Do social media influencers promote objectification or just cater the demand? Should we allow a ‘power group’ to decide what is empowering and what is not?

Social media influencers are ‘framing objectification as empowerment’, and because of the “social media influencers” that self-objectify for profit, women are hurt, feminists say.
 
Is Instagram actually an empowerment platform and does this argument stands? and Who says what is to be considered empowerment and what is not?
 
If women want to be famous on Instagram there are  some  ‘particular rules’ to obey, they say. We do agree there is objectification but also education, inspiration and show off and lifestyle aspiration. Do Instagram actually ‘frames it as empowerment’? Well, yes, because empowerment is first of all the ‘free will’ and the ‘liberty’ to choose any legal job. If some jobs are dignifying or empowering or not is quite subjective. What is empowering for an individual it might be the case that is viewed as shameful by other. So, should we allow a ‘power group’ to decide what is empowering and what is not for women and decide over the individual liberty? Absolutely not.
 
Also, pointing the finger at  Instagram influencer is no different than accusing TV Channels for objectification when you really should look closely at the cultural aspirations and consumption of the society. 
 
It’s the old debate once again. Should Media educate people or should media cater for the demand?
Is actually neither one by itself but both, if we to be honest. Media, and Advertising industry is shaping the society by selecting the messages and promoting some messages over other messages and also, media is a business and should cater for demand if to survive. 

According to sproutsocial.com, “Instagram leans towards a much younger audience than that of Facebook, appealing to teens and young adults with its straightforward, photo-centric design and ease of use.

The platform also is more popular among women than men, with 39% of online women using Instagram vs. 30% of online men.”

Interesting fact, it seems that Instagram influencers accused of promoting objectification are actually mostly ‘consumed’ by other women. Also considering that 72% of the audience is 13-17 years old we can conclude that this might have something to do with the aspirations of these young ladies and does not constitutes in fact a predominance in sexual objectification.

Seems to us that blaming influencers or media for questionable social values is unwise. Doing so, could lead to undemocratic regulations towards media and against people seen as ‘oppressors’. Also, as we concluded earlier, based on the audience demographics, we should definetly not consider objectification a general occurance.

We believe the debate should restrict to individual values and individual education and not encourage the blaming game between groups of so called oppressors and groups of self identified victims.