(STUDY FINDS) -- ITHACA, N.Y. — Navigating the world of social media can feel like a mine field at times, and no one is under a larger magnifying glass than influencers. These popular users with tens of thousands of followers make a living using their profiles to endorse clothing companies, makeup brands, and any number of other products willing to pay for a shout out. For influencers, social media isn’t just a hobby or way to stoke their ego, it’s how they pay their bills.
For most of us, that probably sounds like a pretty easy way to earn a buck, but a new study conducted at Cornell University is illustrating just how trying it can be from a psychological perspective to try and please everyone online. Researchers focused specifically on female influencers using Instagram, and discovered that these women are constantly being criticized and harassed for either being “too real” or “too fake” in their pictures and profiles.
Researchers have dubbed this dilemma an “authenticity bind,” in which female influencers are essentially faced with a no-win situation. When they share personal details and un-enhanced images they leave themselves open to abuse and accusations that they’ve embellished details in order to elicit more likes and comments. On the other hand, if they are more reserved and post more typical, enhanced images to Instagram, they are accused of simply being fake and un-relatable.
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