A month ago, I decided I was going to take up a research project on the validations we get from posting things on social media. I did my preliminary research on Instagram and how that might effect self-esteem and the way we portray ourselves.
One thing I found really interesting was that almost all the articles or research I read were specifically geared towards females. According to Omnicore, 68% of users on Instagram are female. It isn’t too surprising that Instagram is a female dominated platform, from the numerous beauty/fashion products using Instagram as a marketing tool to the various forms of diverse makeup promoting positive body image and self love. Rachel Simmons, author and researcher, says females have always been told that they will be valued for their appearance. Instagram is a platform for them to get that validation especially because of societal expectations on women. However, that is not what I’m going into now. There are many articles and research done into this that shed some light on the complexities of Instagram and it’s relationship with females.
What was interesting to me was that when I did look into how men used Instagram, most of what I found was just people making parodies of how females treat Instagram. There are things like this video on Instagram Husbands and this article called “What if Guys Acted Like Girls on Instagram”
There was a lack in any kind of information on how men interacted with Instagram, why they do or do not have an account, if it makes a difference to the way they view themselves and the effects on their self-esteem. Aaron Barksdale, in this article says male body image issues are dismissed as a non-issue for ‘real men’.
There are a lot of factors and societal norms to consider in this instance. There are also different intersections to consider such as race, sexuality and gender identity. However, I think my first line of research would be a short survey to find out broadly what men think about using Instagram and if they care about how they come across on the platform.
If you want to check out or take part in this survey, you can do so here: https://goo.gl/forms/Sp7gPo8qm1BpbK0o1