Thursday, October 21, 2021

How Instagram can intensify body image problems for women and girls

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With the help of some top fashion and beauty execs, Instagram recently came under fire for exacerbating body image problems that are common among young girls and women. But researchers say it’s not just Instagram, and that the problem goes beyond the platform itself. Rather, people have always had a problem with how women are represented on the web.

The critique of Instagram came from Anna Netrebko, soprano and Dolce & Gabbana star. As first reported by Glamour, Netrebko was “appalled by the [fashion] industry’s obsession with ‘thinness’ and its influence on young girls,” which she criticized through Instagram and in interviews with Vanity Fair and The Cut. She believes that technology has helped “in enabling women to access [that problem] in greater numbers than ever before.”

“I have a feeling there is something in people’s minds that when they get online, they become a monster, but I don’t know, maybe it’s just a theory,” Netrebko told Glamour.

Although Netrebko’s comments came in the wake of a high-profile Gisele Bundchen controversy, that controversy is a relatively recent development. Back in 2000, Grace Coddington, a creative director at Vogue, addressed her fellow women in an editorial for the magazine in which she essentially said: Get over it.

But as Dana Harcourt, a professor of sociology and social anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, told The Cut, making fat or thin a defining concept of one’s self can “transform people into a set of values that they are forced to adhere to.”

“I guess I agree with Netrebko that the problem extends beyond one industry and company,” Harcourt said. “But I think the medium is powerful enough and the customer is sophisticated enough that there is a limit to how much anyone can change one’s perspective by being part of one [industry]. But I do think things will continue to change.”

Read the full story at The Cut.

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