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Doing Gender on Social Media

The world’s views about gender conformity and construction are increasingly evolving. Gender is not socially formed, and people do not have to believe in or embody gender norms. Unfortunately, many individuals find it difficult to accept people for who they are rather than their gender, which leads to gender stereotyping. The writers contend in the essays that both biology and society have a considerable impact on gender formation.

Gender is a concept that society has misappropriated to describe physical distinctions between men and women. Gender is not the physical sex of a person; rather, it is how people view sex and the expectations that come with it. The activities of parents are a child’s first introduction to what it means to be male or female. Children learn to imitate and observe their parents’ behavior. Knowing this, parents strive to be excellent role models and give the parental advice required to meet the gender conformance criteria.

Parents might also influence their children’s gender identity by how they depict them. Parents usually dress their child in blue if he is a boy and pink if she is a girl. Parents advertise their child’s gender so prominently because they don’t want to be asked whether their child is male or female all the time. Adults treat each gender differently, and children respond by responding in the manner they feel their gender should act (Lorber, 1994)

While society has a significant impact on how we view gender, our biology is as vital to consider. Depending on our sex, the hormones and structure of our bodies produce different sensations. A woman, for example, becomes a mother as a result of her biology. After the baby is born, the emotional duty of motherhood follows it inevitably. For example, the ability to produce milk after birth is completely hereditary. If a woman does not have the codes in her brain and the hormones that activate the codes, it is difficult to train her to create milk. Genes activate genetic coding in the brain, allowing the body to create milk when it is required.

Despite the fact that gender stereotyping is becoming less widespread in the United States, it continues to have a significant influence on children’s adult decisions. Different employment choices are influenced by the notion that men will provide for their families and women will nurture their children. Women account for 80% of primary school teachers and 81 percent of social workers in today’s profession. Men are less likely to want to work in these industries since they are deemed feminine in today’s workforce. Furthermore, women are less inclined to pursue high-ranking positions because they feel they would be perceived as domineering rather than influential.

Instagram will be the social media platform under discussion. Instagram is a photo-based social networking website that was started in the year 2010 and has since grown to become one of the fastest-growing platforms in the world, with over a billion monthly users as of December 2015. This research will look at the following Instagram features and frameworks: posts, user profiles, feeds, stories and highlights; hashtags; location services; and paralinguistic digital affordances such as sharing and tagging.

Snapping a selfie with the camera feature on Instagram is a straightforward process. Instagram users can quickly take and share photographs and videos by swiping right to open the camera or pressing the Plus button on their phones. They can also edit their photos and videos using a variety of filters and picture settings. Users may construct their own self-image and develop their own identity with the photographs and videos they create and choose to upload or share on their account.

When users upload photographs to their own Instagram account, their self-image is reinforced, and Instagram allows individuals to express and reflect their own unique personalities and selves on the platform. Many societal assumptions about a person are based on how they seem in Instagram images, such as their femininity and masculinity, for example.

Also visible in feeds are “highlights,” an Instagram feature which allows someone to save photos from their story. Highlights are photographs or videos that have been selected by the user. Using Instagram Stories, users may create and share images, live video clips, and text that will be deleted after 24 hours. Highlights is a feature that allows users to save narrative snippets to their profiles before they are removed from the site. Users have the option of deciding whether or not they want to save any of the information from their stories, and they may give the data they save whatever name they like. Along with the content that they publish to their feed, this gives people the opportunity to curate and exhibit information that is relevant and appealing to their distinct personality.

Instagram’s user profile is the second component of the site that is concerned with how gender and sexuality are socially defined, following the profile photo. The profile image, username, given name, and space for any extra text are all displayed together at the top of an Instagram user’s feed in a single column at the top of the page. By employing this option, users may customize their feed and upload information about themselves to other users, which is beneficial. It is also possible to supply personal information about a person, such as his or her date of birth and place of residence. It is also possible to incorporate other information, such as a person’s selected tags and hobbies. Several pieces of information about a person’s personal identity may be derived from their profile, including the sort of work the person has, the gender of the individual, as well as the individual’s age and gender.

The ability to follow other Instagram profiles is available to users of the platform. By following another account, it is possible to read their stuff in a tailored feed of items from everyone you follow, while still keeping the structure of friends and followers. A user may check who else is following them by clicking on the following button on their profile page. As a result, anyone with access to other accounts that someone else follows will be able to see what they are following. Although they may not know each other, it is usual for users to follow one another in order to give support.

As a result, the postings from their respective Instagram accounts will appear in their own Instagram feeds. When it comes to superstars, the contrary is frequently true: despite having many followers, they only follow a little proportion of people who do follow them back. In reality, it does imply that, while a great number of people will see what a celebrity publishes on Instagram, the celebrity will only see what the accounts they follow post on their own account.

A person’s relational identity is formed through the public display of which and how many accounts they follow, as well as the public display of how many accounts follow them. This is accomplished by allowing the association of other accounts with which a user who wishes to link with. It has been demonstrated by her friends and followers that this is an example of gender and sexuality performances that both conform to and violate the expectations of the social system.

Finally, recognizing Instagram’s function in identity construction has the potential to have a big influence on the portrayal of disadvantaged and varied identities on the social media platform. Moreover, research such as this one will elicit greater inquiry and discussion about the value of online platforms for individuals who would otherwise be unable to appreciate, explore, find, and/or celebrate their identities because they lack a sense of safety and community.

As a result of cultural expectations, gender and sexuality performances culminate in the discovery of one’s own identity, a luxury that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy. It is imperative that we do all in our ability to guarantee that all voices and personalities are treated on an equal footing in an increasingly linked globe.


Lorber, J. (1994). Night To His Day: The Social Construction of Gender. In Paradoxes of gender. New Haven: Yale University Press

Blow, Charles M. “Michael Brown and Black Men.” New York Times 14 Aug. 2014: NA(L). Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 10 June 2021.


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