Instagram and the Male Gaze : How Male Viewership Affects the Content Women Post and View
Kahn, Liza Rachel
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The purpose of this study was to understand how heterosexual women’s content on Instagram is posted with male viewership in mind, but situated within a framework of bodily autonomy, perhaps to make it more politically appealing. Data was gathered through the use of 20 semi-structured interviews and subsequent qualitative research analysis. Interviewees predominantly identified as heterosexual, but some identified as queer as well. Additionally, interviewees identified as Latinx, Colombian, Asian, Indian, African-American, white, and black. My findings suggest that the extent to which heterosexual women’s content is posted with male viewership in mind varies depending on one’s racial identity. Furthermore, my research points to the complexities of feminism – namely that feminism means different things to different people. Contextualized within the larger body of research which privileges the white woman over everyone else, my research offers new distinctions between and understandings of women’s experiences on Instagram depending on their racial identities.