[Ed. – Suppose the subjects of the photo strive to appear as ‘southern ladies.’ Are they still at fault in Schmeichel et. al.’s and, if so, why?]
A group of feminist professors recently discovered that Instagram selfies taken by women in college can reinforce “traditional gender roles.”
In a study led by Mardi Schmeichel, a University of Georgia (UGA) professor specializing in “feminist theory,” a team of professors analyzed 233 selfies that were posted in 2013 within 24 hours of the first UGA football home game of the semester.
Schmeichel and her team analyzed these selfies to see if they represented “the idealized symbol of the southern lady,” which they note is an aesthetic trope that “has had significant and enduring consequences on notions of femininity in the South.”
This symbol of the southern lady, they argue, is typified by students’ formal wear, soft and flowy dresses, a significant amount of jewelry, and clothes that emphasize “feminine curves without revealing what might be considered ‘too much’ skin.”