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This rant post is 100% inspired by the amazing conversation that Jameela Jamil had on the Ways to Change the World podcast.
Jameela has sparked a much needed conversation on influencers and the toxicity they promote, as well as why they’ve been allowed to go unchecked for so long.
I cannot stress to you enough how important it is that you’re aware of the negative and damaging content that’s all over social media and the impact it can have your wellbeing!!
This post is going to first start with double agents of the patriarchy and then transition into toxic influencers.
These subjects are SO closely related and you need to know about these double agents of the patriarchy to help you understand why some of these influencers can be so toxic and how to spot them.
Double Agents of the Patriarchy
Jameela Jamil described a double agent of the patriarchy as a woman who puts out and benefits off of a patriarchal narrative.
Let’s break this down.
The patriarchy is a social system where males/men hold the primary power and control, at the expense of others.
Jameela is basically saying that any woman who promotes the patriarchy, especially for personal gain, all while promoting female empowerment, is a FRAUD.
While Jameela was directly referencing social media influencers who promote products like those stupid diarrhea shakes or appetite-suppressing lollipops, I was left wondering whether strippers and other sex workers were included in this category of double agents of the patriarchy?
After ~careful considerdation~ I thinks it’s safe to say that sex workers are NOT automatically double agents of the patriarchy.
The patriarchy’s mission is to rob women of their power, especially when it comes to control over the female body. A sex worker, profiting off of her own body, is exercising control and agency over how she interacts with and is perceived by her male clients. Unless, she is doing this at the EXPENSE of other women (by shitting on other women or portraying herself as superior to other women due to her attractability to men, etc.) then she is NOT a double agent of the patriarchy.
Jameela clarifies that these double agents of the patriarchy are selling us poison and are basically just recycling hatred.
I LOVE the term “recycled hatred” because that’s exactly what I see going on both online and in “real life.” It’s like people can’t help but put out the negativity that they have absorbed, back into the world for others to consume. It’s awful.
Being a double agent of the patriarchy is a total betrayal against women.
I know what some of y’all might say:
“iT’s nOT mY JoB to wORrY aBoUT anD LifT UP OTheR WOmEn, I DiD iT aLL oN MY OwN sO THeY CaN toO”
If you’re that type of bitch then get the fuckkkkkkk off of my blog!!!!!!
Half & Bad is NOT for you if you’re not about recycling POSITIVE energy and about female EMPOWERMENT and about building a platform to HELP OTHERS.
Greed is no excuse!! I don’t care how much you get paid to contribute to any type of oppression. You are the epitome of a raggedy bitch if you benefit from hurting others, directly or indirectly. That goes for men and women.
Some of the biggest double agents of the patriarchy are social media influencers.
These are what I like to call toxic influencers.
Not only are these toxic influencers promoting the patriarchy for self-serving reasons, they’re doing it by spreading lies and negativity!
I’m hoping by telling you this, we can all become more wary and critical consumers of social media. If we’re able to identify the bullshit and the toxicity and the unhealthy media, then we can filter it out and decide whether or not what we’re consuming is going to help or hurts us- mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually.
4 Ways to Spot a Toxic Influencer
1. Toxic influencers promote toxic beauty standards
Toxic beauty standards are unrealistic and come at the expense of the majority of women.
Off the bat, there’s nothing wrong with cosmetic surgery *by itself*. But when you combine body and facial reconstruction with lies and double agents of the patriarchy, THEN we have a big problem.
Girls and young women are especially impressionable and often naïve.
My problem isn’t with bodies, it’s with the lies that often come from a source of shame and guilt that the patriarchy instills in women for not naturally having these perfect unrealistic bodies. *This* is part of why some women lie about the work they’ve had done on themselves.
You don’t have to look a certain way to get attention or success. That’s the tea they don’t want you to know.
2. Toxic influencers promote toxic products
It’s especially sickening to really think about how some of these toxic influencers are making thousands and thousands of dollars off of promoting an appetite suppressing lollipop to help obtain a “flat tummy” when their own flat tummies are only flat because they got the fat sucked out through a tube by a Miami surgeon.
It’s honestly a public health issue.
You have women and girls consuming these images of women with bodies that CAN NOT BE NATURALLY OBTAINED with adverts by these same women for diet supplements claiming they’ll help you obtain their bodies. It’s TOXIC and is contributing to the declining mental health of women everywhere.
Diet supplements, workout plans, treatments like lip plumping serums or acne treatments often fall under the category of “toxic products.”
“Let me sell you this lip plumping gloss that I use on my lip filler filled lips!”
“Let me promote this acne spot treatment without telling you about all the facials and skin lasering I get done once a week!”
Don’t let them fool you like this!!!
By not showing the behind the scenes surgeries, treatments, rigorous workout regimens, and expensive, strict diets, these toxic influencers setting up their followers for failure.
3. Toxic influencers don’t show the real them
For a lot of social media influencers, there’s no such thing as a candid photo.
What isn’t fine is staging photos and trying to portray them as everyday life and candid.
This particular form of deception is best summed up by this tweet that recently went viral:
Fuck off this is anybody’s normal morning.
Instagram is a ridiculous lie factory made to make us all feel inadequate. pic.twitter.com/arV7uCusiJ
— Nathan (@hintofsarcasm) August 31, 2018
(Yes, those are tortillas posed to look like pancakes 🤦🏽♀️ go through the rest of the twitter thread to see the other major staging that took place to make this photo happen)
Watch your back, cause these things will really start to fuck with your head and make you think twice about your own life if you’re not careful.
4. Toxic influencers only focus on materialistic things
Influencers on social media make a lot of money from promoting and selling things on social media.
But that doesn’t mean their entire profile should be sponsored posts or paid ads, especially when those ads are solely focused on tangible products.
As human beings, we should all be doing something to contribute to making our joint experiences on this earth better. And not just for ourselves.
Some of my favorite influencers promote the products that make them money, but they also promote positivity and wellness in whatever form that looks like for them!
It is possible to be a good person and make money lol.
The patriarchy is a beast. Social media is a whole different beast.
Together they’re deadly.
Take care of yourselves, especially when it comes to your mental health.
Disconnect, log off, take a breath, live YOUR life.