Women on Instagram derided as too real – or not real enough

Female influencers on Instagram – whose livelihoods depend on their ability to build and maintain a prominent social media following – endure criticism and harassment both for being too honest about their lives and for seeming too fake, a new Cornell study has found.

This leaves women on Instagram caught in an “authenticity bind” – the nature of social media compels them to share details from their personal lives, but these details make them vulnerable to abuse or charges that they’ve “curated” or faked their online personas.

For example, they might be mocked for posting photos of themselves without makeup – but also derided for posting only images of an immaculately clean kitchen.

“Across social networks, content creators are compelled to be authentic and ‘real’ but in ways that are quite narrowly defined,” said Brooke Erin Duffy

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