Bruce Thomas-Pinterest Reflection

Pinterest was actually a very fun experience for me. It was cool to be able to find different aspects of my life that I could mesh together and create a biography for people to see, which allows others who don’t know me to have a general idea of my interests and my beliefs. Obviously, the Internet is a place where people can communicate and find people who share common beliefs. It is also a dangerous place, a place where it is easy to fabricate and manufacture aspects of your life in order to be someone you can’t be in real life. Many times people have uprooted their whole lives for someone that they have never even met, but who they got to know on the Internet and thought were perfect for them. Unfortunately, sometimes the person was never who he or she said they were, if they were real at all. For me, social media sites, like my board on Pinterest, is a way for me to show others what I am about as a young man and what/who is important to me in my life. However, social media also has a way of “relentlessly reinforcing” hegemony as well as “gendered ideologies and norms,” as Ann Wilson and Emily Chivers Yochim say in their article. (3). They talk about how Pinterest, along with other social media sites, makes family life feel “increasingly precarious,” with mothers being “responsible for managing threats to their families’ economic, emotional, and physical well-being” (4). In addition to these points, if one were to look at the boards that I “liked” on Pinterest, he or she would find another key problem with social media sites. Many of the pins that I liked were of women’s fashion or women in scantily-clad apparel, and I liked those in order to show what images people were consistently seeing. The images of beauty and ideas of high-quality fashion were all displayed and performed by skinny white women. This makes sense, considering that Wilson and Yochim say that the majority of “pinners” are white women of upper and middle class (2). This reflects the notion that social media is another outlet people can use to reinforce hegemony and beauty ideals.

In Emily Matcher’s article, she talks about the new DIY culture and its effect on the new domesticity, which she coins the Heroic New Homemaker. She talks about how, since the recession hit in 2008, the domestic activities have taken on a “much greater sense of purpose” and that the Heroic New Homemaker “was increasingly disenchanted with the contemporary workplace, due to lessened job opportunities, longer and longer work days, and the continued difficulty of balancing work with child care” (44). This can be seen on Pinterest, as people, usually women as discussed earlier, can post their tips for housework and the way to use cleaning items, dishes, and a multitude of things that are “women’s utensils” for around the house. Pinterest and other social media sites have reinforced the same gendered ideals as before, and this is reflected with some of the “pins” people see, and the expectations of the women that see them.

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