Hashtag Beauty Pageants Are Turning Instagram Into A Crazy Place

Every one of us is guilty (and maybe guilty of making fun of, too) the Instagram selfie. It's certainly a thing that people do — albeit one that makes us rib our pals when they overindulge. But, when that self-shot picture in front of, say, a setting sunset turns into a MySpace-style cry for validation, our spidey-senses tingle. With hashtags, the onslaught of likes, and the public nature of Instagram, the culture of selfies has potential to spiral out of control.
The Daily Mail has addressed the usage of "hashtag" beauty pageants, reporting that hashtags of the words "#beautypageant" returns 10,508 photos, "#hotornot" has 14,616 and "#amipretty" nets in over 5,000. Of course, this sort of immediate validation on the Internet has practically existed since the first photo was uploaded online. But the flowing, live-updating nature of the hashtag makes it particularly problematic, because users may unwittingly find themselves in a flurry of critical comments.
The rest of the post is concerned with the age of the participants in such online beauty competitions, which certainly does skew young, but those girls are using Instagram against its terms of use. What is more troubling, however, is the fact that, again and again, girls are instantly opening themselves to anonymous remarks on the Internet. And, as we've all witnessed, commenters on the Internet can be mean.
This problem, it seems, certainly isn't Instagram's. Yet, the site provides an accessible, immediate tool used to turn the selfie into self-validation. Plus, the need for approval (and the negative judgment that seeking it produces) doesn't belong just to the social network. But, what can be done when there are both those who aren't just willing to judge, but wanting to be judged, as well? (The Daily Mail)

Photo: Via Instagram

R29 Original Series