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It is no wonder that Instagram’s popularity has skyrocketed within the past year; it provides endless scrolling entertainment and a means to categorize your feed and portray yourself in whichever way you wish. The most well-known niche within Instagram is this idea of the “Instagram model.” The Instagram model is very specific and recognizable: a girl with a perfectly contoured, full-coverage face of makeup complete with false lashes and exceedingly (fake) plump lips, immaculately styled hair, a Barbie-like body with a round butt, toned stomach, and large boobs, trendy style, and of course, a bottomless budget to spend on travel, home décor, and all the top designers. Of course nearly everything about an Instagram model’s appearance is fake and generic, however on a platform like Instagram, people can construct their self image in such a way that only one side of the coin is ever shown. In my opinion, Instagram models are the trolls of the Instagram world.

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

The constant appearance of Instagram models and their picture perfect lives can be extremely taxing on those who consume this media. Young girls are being bombarded by this hyper-specific standard of modern day feminine beauty, one of which is impossible to truly achieve, causing them to have unrealistic expectations on how they should be which in turn can be fatal for a maturing girl’s self-esteem. It is pertinent that people realize that what is shown by these women is not the whole truth and that it is just the way in which they promote their self brand. Everyone takes their makeup off at the end of the day, everyone must budget their finances, and everyone is not perfect. It could be argued that these girls aid into cyberbullying by insisting that their image is reality. Obviously not directly, but there is no doubt this incessant flow of selfies, name-brand product placement and denial that their lives are staged for the camera casts a dark shadow on girls growing up in the Instagram era. So remember Instagram users…not everything is as it seems, especially on a network that is nearly all self-promotion based.

Featured image courtesy of @tea_you https://www.instagram.com/p/BAij6XQFQjU/

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4 thoughts on “Instagram Models: Trolls and Bullies?

  1. @ccgoldman It is interesting now to see lots of “Instagram Models” and Youtube stars taking off their makeup for their fans. It is almost as if they are all realizing the message they are sending to all of their fans is wrong and that they are now trying to change it. Recently there was an eighteen year old Instagram user that expressed her feelings and views on modeling through a social media platform. Essence O’Neill from Australia posted a video of herself explaining why she was deleting her account and quitting her modeling career on Instagram because of the negative message it was sending and how in the end it made her feel bad about herself. The pictures that seemed to look perfect and were perceived as happy in reality were “fake” and set up to look as such.Is this how we want young women to view themselves and others?

    Here is the link to an article about the young model and her video http://abcnews.go.com/US/instagram-star-quit-social-media-positive-role-model/story?id=34987290

  2. @mmmalcolm, thank you so much for this comment and link. I have also been noticing this trend of people realizing that these girls and accounts are not all they are cracked up to be. I hadn’t seen that video of Essence before, but it was very inspiring and real. I’m so glad she came out and told the truth behind her “perfect” life; I hope girls who are overly obsessed and concerned about their social media image/presence take this video to heart and understand that living a happy life in the real world is much more important than living a happy life on social media.

  3. @ccgoldman — As a girl whose adolescence whose childhood was arguably formed in some level by social media, I found this post very relatable, and the issue very existent. Never have we been so bombarded with the pressure to be a certain way. Ads have always pushed the standard of beauty on us, but with Instagram and smartphones they are always with us, conveniently a few taps and swipes away.
    When I was in high school I went through a phase of following “fitspo” Instagram accounts, which in a nutshell are “fit” girls posting photos of their perfectly curved and toned bodies. It came to a point where I was scrolling past an unending feed of perfect abs on my Instagram feed, and I decided for my mental health it was best to un-follow them all. I can only imagine how social media has contributed to the eating disorder epidemic among adolescent girls.
    There is an interesting paradox, even though we are on some level aware that the Instagram profiles of these Instagram fitness models are not full representations of their selves and lives, we still aspire to be like them. We try to do their quick workouts, try their strange cleanses, and buy their “diet teas”. It is as if we know we are being tricked and scammed; yet we cannot help but still yearn to obtain this unattainable desire.
    What is even more interesting is that in order to actively see these posts, we must have an account ourselves. Therefore we are well aware of the presentation of self, or performance, that goes into our profiles. We know that our Instagram posts are the few quick moments of our “best” selves. Yet, we do not seem to apply this standard to these Instagram models.
    The labeling of “trolls” is accurate but also makes me fear for the future generations of young women. Will they be under even more pressure to be and look a certain way? There is a sweet spot in which insta-fitness models can act as a motivator for a healthy lifestyle, but the reality is far from that. Perhaps then, for future generations of young women to have self-acceptance and “self-love”, it is best to unfollow and switch off?

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