Has Instagram Destroyed Self-Respect? : ThyBlackMan

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Has Instagram Destroyed Self-Respect?

September 17, 2013 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Relationships, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) This instagram business is getting out of hand.

I have a friend who was addicted to instagram, and I don’t use that word lightly. Every day, ALL DAY, you could find her eyes glued to her phone and finger scrolling across the screen looking at instagram pictures and updates. It got to the point that you couldn’t even have a decent conversation with her anymore; if you wanted to chat, be prepared to make room for “insta” in the conversation.

So, imagine to my surprise, when not too long ago I asked her a question about the social media tool (clearly for this article), and she informed she’s no longer on it.

Say what?

Here’s her reasoning:

Instagram became addictive and controlling. You find yourself “doing” things just for instagram, taking pictures just for instagram because you know they’llinstagram get likes and not even bothering to take pictures if you know they won’t be popular.

Say what?

This I can certainly believe, and I’m not even on “insta.” But, through my friend and countless others, I’ve definitely witnessed this attention-seeking habit the site so easily forms. My friend used to tell me that if her pictures didn’t instantly get a lot of likes, she’d like pictures herself to get the likes past a certain number so names were no longer displayed.

Another friend of mine showed me a girl who openly (and proudly?) admitted to liking her own pictures on instagram. Is it that real?

So, I took a look at the site myself and was appalled by what I found. On Facebook, I kept seeing those new “provocative pages.” Pages dedicated to “thick girls only” or “freaks” or whatever else foolishness. And every single page had hundreds (probably thousands) of pictures of women who all looked the same:

  • Half dressed: wearing a thong/G-string, swimsuit, short shorts, tights/leggings, mini skirts…near nothing (you get my drift)
  • Poses: to the side, camera angled at the butt. Or a full on butt shot, sometimes bent over. Any pose, whether front or back, that highlights the woman’s curves—thick thighs, wide hips and extra-massive-borderline-injection-looking-butt.
  • Face: puckered lips meets deer in the headlights facial expression. Almost none of the women are smiling, yet trying to look “seductive” when they’re really looking like “I’m so desperate for attention, but I hope it’s not too obvious.”

It’s ridiculous and disturbing. And this has translated (probably even greater) right on over to Instagram. The site is filled with image after image of women in the same type of attention-seeking, barely any clothes on, butt posing photos. And the “thirst” isn’t just from women; men are showing their ignorance as well.

Tumblr created a sad, yet explicit page dedicated to the “thirstiest men on instagram.” Believe me, it’s sad.

And seeing how the rise in social media has caused so many to “expose” themselves to the online world, I’m wondering: Did instagram (and other social media) destroy self-respect?

Since when did uploading butt shots become the norm? Since when is posting countless half-naked photos putting all your goodies on display to “get your likes up” the thing to do? Have we lost all self-respect?

Why do women disrespect their bodies this way? Is attention from total strangers that important? Again I ask, is it that real out here?

Do likes and comments on a photo determine your self-worth? So much so that you can only put revealing and/or “perfect” filter-enhanced photos on instagram to get attention and feedback?

As I see this new craze on Instagram and other sites, it saddens me. Women are putting their half-naked bodies on display and/or ensuring to accentuate and highlight their curves in EVERY photo like what’s on the outside of them defines who they truly are.

Those thick thighs may catch his attention and that huge donk may get you showered with compliments, but in the long run, none of those will keep a man…the right man, anyway. I mean, isn’t that obvious? For every one big-butt, thick-thighed “vixen” I saw posing, there were 10 more right behind her with similar looking pics. Umm, what makes you stand out from the crowd if the crowd (of millions) looks identical to what you’re offering?

I hope women will start looking at the root of their actions and make adjustments. Why do you honestly feel the need to put your body, your temple, on display for the world to see? Why add your image(s) to the countless others on what’s certainly turning into soft porn on social media?

Women run around crying about how they want a good man and desire to be treated like a queen. But tell me this: what “queen” do you know would conduct herself in such a manner? Do you think Michelle had to reduce herself to such drastic measures to get Obama’s attention?

I think not. Women like Michelle know what’s real out here—and it’s certainly not validation from Instagram.

Staff Writer; Shala Marks

Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/shala.marks

Service is her passion, writing is her platform, women and the Black Community are her avenues. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Through her work, Marks aspires to demonstrate “The Craft of Writing, and the Art of Efficacy.” She has a B.A. in journalism from ArizonaStateUniversity. Connect with her at http://www.sisterscanwespeak.tumblr.com.



6 Responses to “Has Instagram Destroyed Self-Respect?”
  1. Jane says:

    I agree. As a woman, seeing these pictures hurts me. I am embarrassed for the women..and more importantly, feel embarrassed for myself that men have been brainwashed into thinking this is what men want and how they view us — just as sex objects. Our culture is already hyper sexualized, with men feeling sexually entitled to women’s bodies…Of course all of these pictures affect male thinking….making him think of women in sexual terms first and foremost when you want him to consider your heart, mind, and character first.

    What’s even more surprising is the number of people who think posting suggestive pictures is a sign of “confidence” and “empowerment.” Many defend this…with the idea that women can do as they like….but at what cost? THe incessant sexual harassment women endure? The sexism on the job? Having men want to control us and reduce us to the sum of our parts? Sexual addictions?

    People act out based upon these images. The images themselves are dangerous….If you have any doubt…watch Datelines’s To Catch a Predator….or read the testimonies of convicted rapists who attribute pornography/suggestive photographs for their sex addictions.

    Even so, what self respecting person would post an exhibitionistic photograph of themselves Imagine the professional and social consequences. I guess standards have been lowered today thanks to Playboy and the culture spurred by Alfred Kinsey, whom Rockefeller financed to advance sexual perversion and the dissolution of the family throughout society.

  2. Shala Marks says:

    Auja–Thanks for reading! I often feel like I was born in the wrong era too because I have an old soul and will not conform my way of thinking to today’s “new normal.”

    Anne–Thanks for sharing; I cannot believe that girl in Michigan would say such a thing, but I’m happy the job offer was withdrawn. People do need to open up their eyes and realize how seriously HR and hiring managers take content put on social media.

    Sendy–Thanks for reading! I only used Instagram as my example because 1) it’s more picture oriented than Facebook (as in, it’s sole purpose is posting/sharing pics whereas FB has a wall for posts and updates) and 2) Instagram is very prominent in social media right now. But, as I wrote here: Did instagram (and other social media) destroy self-respect? My overall focus was asking this question about all social media.

    Facebook was my first example and I stated that I also saw this “lack of self respect” flowing over to Instagram.

  3. Anne says:

    A lot of things on both Facebook and Instragram fall under the category of TMI (too much information). Even worse, the things that people post can come back to bite them in some way, most significantly affecting their employment prospects. In one example, this 17-year-old girl in Michigan thanked God for the bullet that killed Trayvon Martin. She posted this on Facebook. During this time, she was a prospective hire for a coffee shop called Bigby. People who were both patrons and employees discovered it, and complained to management. As a result, the employment offer was withdrawn. In addition, sexually suggestive or pictures on either one can result in receiving unwanted attention from total strangers or possibly even be used as a source of blackmail. While I would never tell anyone not to use either one, I think it’s vitally important not to post anything that could put one in a bad light.

  4. Auja says:

    I agree Shala. I think society is giving up on censoring certain things and the lack of maintaining decency has leaked out into the streets ridiculously! I really feel like this world is coming to an end b/c of what’s “common” now. Some teenage boy took a picture of a condom to post while he was on the bus today. I know why he did it, but that was just a mess. Knowing he ain’t got no business w/ that. People always tell me that I just need to adjust to the times when I say that I think I was born in the wrong era, but no I don’t. People just need to find their consciences, their minds, and their clothes. We are not supposed to be showing everything off, and I’m not understanding why some weren’t taught that or they disagree. I just don’t know, but great read!!!!! 🙂

  5. Sendy says:

    I honestly believe instagram is not destroying self respect no more than what facebook,twitter and tumblr are already doing. Why focus on instgram if people can put the same thing on any other social network site when they please? Instagram is not the one to focus on because people post similar items on other sites. So i for one beg to differ instgram is great I have one, follow me @SendySue


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