This post is mainly for men. If you’re a woman, feel free to read on, but it’s not directed toward you. I’ll let y’all handle your own camp.
You see her posing. She’s wearing her tightest yoga pants. You know that because her shapely behind is directed in such a way that the camera she’s posing in front of is getting the maximum curvature. It’s a pose she’s done a million times before. She’s got her most cleavage-revealing and cleavage creating tanktop on.
But despite all that sexual aura that she’s giving off as she poses to look morose and meek while still looking seductive, what strikes you most as you look on is what she’s posing in front of. A few days ago, an arsonist burned down a black church. It was all over the news, even making national headlines. Here she is now, posing in front of the charred rubble of the school with every curve of her body exaggerated, looking sad.
She’ll probably write a quote from a poet or thought leader in the copy when she posts it to Instagram, or say something about peace and love, followed by at least a dozen hashtags for maximum visibility. Rest assured, thirsty men are going to flood her Instagram page with likes. She’ll receive hundreds of comments about how they agree with her, love her, and are here for her if she needs anything.
You know this because you’ve seen it before many times. This girl is one of the thousands of Instagram influencers who use their bodies to get one of the most important currencies in today’s world; attention.
Thing is, you expect this out of members of the female sex. They’re hardwired for the desire to be recognized for their beauty and this poor girl either didn’t get enough acknowledgment as a child or perhaps she had it emphasized too much growing up and now her insecurities become overwhelming without the constant dopamine flood of likes and adoration. You still think ill of the girl for using the misfortune of others as a delivery system for attention for herself, but a part of you feels sorry for her.
As she poses in different ways, your attention is drawn to the one holding the camera. It’s a man roughly the same age as the woman. He’s also doing poses, contorting his body in various ways in order to get different angles. He clearly has experience in this. He knows what angle she likes and how to get them and so he moves the camera up and down, positioning his body for maximum stability to avoid camera shakes.
For some reason — and you don’t know why — you feel sorry for him. He does look slightly defeated, but even more oddly, you seem to find yourself getting angry at him. Don’t worry, it’s not an irrational feeling.
This guy is an Instagram boyfriend. He’s been trained and conditioned by the girl in the yoga pants to be her heavy lifter. Through a frustrating bout of trial and error, he’s been taught how to hold the camera, what her best side is, when to take a picture and when to not, what filters she likes and even knows a thing or two about lighting her body.
Something tells you that he knows what they’re doing is wrong. He knows better, but he’s locked here because if he performs well, he gets what men are naturally wired to want. There’s a much higher chance that he’ll get to have sex with her later. So he not only allows this, he participates to maximize his chances.
From one man to another, it’s my personal opinion that this nonsense can’t go on.
Firstly, and most obviously, you’re exacerbating this poor girl’s insecurities and addictions that make her about as shallow as a shower. Not only is it damaging to her mind right now, but it’s also important to remember that the product she’s currently selling to the public is depreciating in value as she ages. At some point, her looks are going to fade and her encouragement to put so much priority on them is going to have a nasty effect on her when she ages out of the group where this behavior is celebrated.
It’s my firm belief that part of a man’s job as a husband or boyfriend is to assuage those insecurities with love and reassurances. The problem I have with Instagram boyfriends is that they’re relying on other men to do what should his job. Your word should, for the most part, suffice in keeping those insecurities at bay. Opening up the door for other men to make her feel loved and important removes you from your rightful position and lessens your role in the relationship.
Instagram boyfriends, in a way, have an element of weakness to them that we as men disdain naturally in the same way we have disdain for willing cuckolds who submit to letting the carnal desires of their wives be assuaged by other men.
You come off as weak and other men don’t like looking at it. Our disdain is evenly mixed with our pity. A part of us understands why you’re doing it. Sex with a beautiful woman is a pretty important goal for us and you’ve found a way to get it. Thing is, you’re not receiving the full amount of romantic adoration from her. Her chief desire is for the attention she’s getting from strangers on the internet. She may love you, have sex with you, and cuddle with you at night, but rest assured, you can be replaced if need be. You should think about that while you’re cuddled up and you’re watching a movie while she’s glued to the responses on her phone. That’s who she’s really in the relationship with.
This isn’t discounting the fact that what you’re doing is just wrong morally. She may be the one in the picture in front of the burned down church, but you’re the one holding the camera. You’re the one snapping the pictures that everyone sees. She’s the subject, but you’re the artist using other people’s suffering as a backdrop. It’s disrespectful and you’re encouraging it.
Stop doing that. Stop participating in this unhealthy nonsense. If your girlfriend can’t or won’t stop, then move on, but don’t be a party to the degradation of our society and her insecurities anymore. It’s not good for you, and it’s not good for society which includes girls who see the attention and get the idea that they should start doing it themselves.
Also, you look stupid. Have some respect for yourself.
Stop being a party to a plague.
For visual reference, here are a couple of recent examples that highlight how ridiculous this gets.
P.S.: I’m well aware that there are dudes out there who also do this nonsense, but not only is this a much rarer sight, other men aren’t nearly as tempted to join in on the activity.