The Instagram trap: Social influence is helping women build brands—as long as they follow the rules

Entrepreneurial women are finding that they have unprecedented influence, whether or not they want it. But if they want to remain successful the "rules" they have to follow are very different than for men.

Even when Instagram is being used to spread an empowering message, certain stereotypes are perpetuated. Often, female entrepreneurs must traffic in self-deprecation, conveying “a little bit of relatability,” says cultural critic and brand strategist Aminatou Sow, cofounder of the popular Call Your Girlfriend podcast. She has noticed that while male CEOs seem comfortable posting selfies taken aboard private jets, women tend to relegate posts that reveal their newfound lavish lifestyles to private accounts, or forgo them altogether. Outdoor Voices’ Haney says she’s conscious of not appearing too “daunting” on social media and avoids flaunting her success.


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