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Influencers should rethink raunchy self-objectification on social media

Many influencers go to great lengths to attract followers and keep them. One of these ways is through personal lifestyle blogging. This is where the influencers invite their followers to catch glimpses of their lifestyles, their trips, their homes and families.

One aspect, if you have been keen, is influencers stripping down to the bare minimum to show off their bodies if the numbers and engagement on their social media platforms are not satisfactory to them. This is where you will see them – both men and women – positing photos of themselves in various contorted poses in bikinis, swim trunks, booty shorts, speedos, muscle shirts, loose vests, short shorts, tight jeans and khakis, bodycon minidresses and midriff tops and t-shirts.

This is because sex sells and some of them know that if they post sexy content about themselves, then the stream of followers and engagement will increase and they can leverage these numbers to potential brand partners.

But what is the downside to this phenomenon of influencers sexually objectifying themselves?

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Case in point is when lifestyle and fitness Instagram influencer, Corazon Kwamboka, renowned for her wasp waist sitting atop humongous assets, spoke of how her ‘socialite’ lifestyle interrupted her law career. She became an online sensation when a photographer took a photo of her (after telling her she has a great body) while she was still in law school and posted it online. This was the door that opened up for her to enjoy the limelight and morph into an influencer lifestyle.

She went on to graduate and became an Advocate of the High Court but only practiced for six months before she left the legal profession. Five years later, she expressed desire to return to practicing law but expressed reservation over how the legal world would perceive her considering the kind of photos of herself she released to the public.

“It (being a socialite/influencer) made me not practice law. I feel that at some point, I was being misjudged in a way so I kinda pulled back from the law. I didn’t even want to go look for a job because I was scared ‘how will they even give me the job’ and also it affected a lot of my relationships since I became Corazon Kwamboka the socialite,” Corazon said two years ago.

In light of this, it is important for influencer to stop objectifying themselves because it will only lead to a distorted sense of self worth, thinking that their value is solely based on their physical appearance. Additionally, this would only increase stereotypes against self objectifying influencers that they are only worth it if they are attractive or sexy; and that their intelligence and character do not mean as much.

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Constantly seeking validation through objectification on social media will also leave one battling negative effects on mental health. This can be witnessed in those instances you find influencers saying they are leaving social media temporarily for mental health breaks. The pressure to conform to certain beauty standards and the obsession with external validation often leads to self-esteem issues, anxiety and depression, therefore, prioritizing mental well-being over external validation is essential.

By avoiding self-objectification, influencers who practice this can become positive role models for others, particularly younger generations. Encouraging authenticity and self-respect sets an example that values inner qualities, personal growth and meaningful contributions- inspiring others to do the same.

This can contribute to changing what society has normalized- consuming oversexualized content – to a society where accomplishment, intellect and character is valued more. Influencers should create social media presences that reflect their authentic selves, not what they think people expect of them- like raunchy outfits. In this way, they challenge harmful norms that would limit their potential in the future- just as it did for Corazon and her legal profession.

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