The aim of the project is to explore how the notion of authenticity is perceived, (re)produced and (re)constructed by female Instagram influencers.The notion of authenticity has gained prominent place in the latest research on social media and digital communication platforms. In the influencer culture on Instagram authenticity has become the main criteria of success and influencers employ different strategies to produce an authentic self-presentation. Authenticity is also economically productive for influencers, as it enables them to successfully sell products and recommend brands to their followers. The “authenticity bind” of social media creates a paradoxical situation in which “authentic” can no longer be constructed in opposition to “staged” or, in the vernacular language of social media, “fake”, because all performance (not only) on social media is staged, controlled and curated. Being authentic on social media thus means subjecting one’s own body, taste and consumer choices to a set of often invisible and delicate rules. According to available data, about 53% of all Instagram users are women. Among influencers, if we define them as people who are able to monetize their presence on the platform, reports suggest that 70% are female. The project thus seeks to explore the dynamics of gendered norms of self-performance and the authenticity bind of social media, taking into account the role of algorithms and AI in shaping the the experience of both influencers and their followers.
Publikace vydané v rámci projektu (celkem 3, zobrazeno 1 - 3)
The COVID-19 pandemics highlighted the role of social media influencers as political communicators and drew attention to the question of accountability of influencers and their overall role in the media ecosystem.
The article explores the proliferation of conspiracies in female dominated spaces on Instagram, specifically among spiritual influencers who base their authority and influence on a combination of wellness culture practices and conspirituality narratives.
Female spiritual influencers on Instagram engage with conspiracy content and appeal to the issue of control over female bodies to bridge the gap between mainstream and fringe online spaces. I use the concept of “third space” to analyse the dynamics of Instagram communities around spiritual influencers and highlight how these communities operate as spaces for political discussion while simultaneously appearing apolitical from the outside.