Face it, Instagram is the most important invention of the 21st Century
It’s all about self-love tbh
My dad thinks that I spend too much time on instagram (to be fair two hours a day is only 8.33 per cent). If it won’t help me get a job then how could it be important, right? I disagree, despite older generations dumping on it, Instagram is an incredibly powerful app and one of the most important inventions of the 21st century – chiefly because it can be so empowering.
Millennials have been criticized for frequently posting pictures of themselves every moment of their waking lives, but I don’t think that older generations have yet realized the full positive potential of the selfie. Selfies aren’t inherently bad or even selfish. They’re simply a way of sharing personal moments in your life in the same way as regular photo. Insta is the best place to go to when you’re feeling yourself and want to show the world how great you look/feel. I don’t think of selfies as a sign of being self-centered, I see them as a way of showing self-love. That’s why instagram is so empowering, because people can chose what parts of themselves they love and want to display to the internet. And in a world where advertising and the media are constantly putting women down and telling them they’re flawed a well-lit selfie might just be the best remedy. Not to mention the fact that taking selfies is genuinely really fun (especially thanks to filters- shout out to snapchat for that one).
In 2016 you can’t escape hearing about #freethenipple, a controversial topic with Instagram right at the center. Instagram’s community guidelines state that they don’t allow nudity in any posts specifically banning “photos of female nipples”. App users have spoken out against this saying it’s sexist that men should have the privilege to post topless pics while women cannot. Some retaliated by posting photos of their bare chests with photoshopped on male nipples or tastefully placed emojis with the aim to desexualize breasts and encouraging women to be proud of their own bodies. Celebrities like Cara Delevingne and Matt McGory have also joined the movement by posting photos of their own helping in the fight against the patriarchy.
Along with Cara and Matt, Instagram is the home of a plethora of positive celebrity role models – take Iskra Lawrence for example. Iskra is a British model who has recently caught attention for using instagram to fight against fat shaming and promote body positivity through hashtag campaigns like #inshapemyshape to show that the definition of health isn’t constrained to being a certain shape or size, as well as people magazines #shareyoursize where women proudly posted their clothing sizes. Users like Iskra and in general hashtags like #everyBODYisbeautiful put forth a positive message and promote healthy body image, especially in the young women who make up a large part of Instagram’s audience. Women make up 68 per cent of the over 300 million active instagram users with 95 per cent of those users being under 35 years old.
Similar to this is the body hair acceptance movement. Insta is flush with pictures of women proudly displaying their unshaven legs and armpits, even being so bold as to dye their body hair or add glitter to show that body hair on women is totally natural and not something to be ashamed of.
Instagram is a platform for people of all body types to show themselves and be proud of their bodies. People of diverse body types posting on instagram lets people, especially young women, know that it’s okay to be muscular or skinny, tall or short, thick thighed or thigh gapped and it empowers them to be proud of their bodies which I think is fucking beautiful. I guess my dad just doesn’t know what he’s missing.