The Role Of Slut Shaming In Social Media

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When 18-year-old American actress and singer Ariel Winter posted a picture to Instagram of her and her nieces in which she was wearing a two-piece swimsuit, she received a barrage of hateful comments on the social media website and application, most of which suggested that she was “asking for it” and that contained derogatory words such as “slut” in reference to her attire (Kimble). Winter’s experience is simply one of many such instances on the social photo sharing application and website Instagram, where women are consistently “slut shamed” for the pictures they post of themselves. Slut shaming is defined as the notion where a woman’s reputation and representation is studied closely as a form of discipline through the codes of sexual conduct …show more content…
Elisa Tate, in “Challenging Women’s Digital Agency: The Frequency of Slut Shaming in Social Media,” writes that women who attempt to create their own digital personas are often the victims of belittlement by male audiences attempting to explain the ideal behavior and representation of women. Women are not only judged on their sexual activity, but also on the clothes they wear (Poole). Even though, as Tate writes, social media sites such as Instagram have provided a venue for women to express themselves beyond traditional gender roles, they often face vehement criticism for doing so. Leora Tanenbaum writes that the term “slut” has now become a descriptor for any woman who does not act as deemed appropriately by society in public spaces, such as online social media (Tanenbaum). On Instagram, women who dress in tight, revealing clothing are often victims of slut shaming. Amber Rose, American model, actress and fashion designer, knows this all too well. Her experience on Instagram is showcased in Tate’s article. Rose uses her presence on Instagram as a platform for the reinvention of the word “slut,” often through highlighting her involvement in feminist causes such as the Amber Rose Los Angeles Slut Walk. The pictures on her Instagram account range from her dressed in figure-hugging sheer dresses to depictions of her life as a mother. Rose is a frequent victim of online slut shaming, partly due to her previous work as a stripper. She has also faced harassment from her former partners, notably from rapper Kanye West. Through her Instagram presence, Rose often blurs the boundaries between her sexuality and her domestic obligations, thus showing that women can take equal part in both. Nevertheless, she still faces vehement criticism, and therefore the very spaces that feminists use to shatter perceptions of women as

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