Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Media Studies

Reader 1

Jennifer Friedlander

Reader 2

Leila Mansouri

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

2019 Faith P McDermott


The primary purpose of advertisements is to influence an audience. However, what happens when changes in technologies and societal norms allow for the rise of the influencer? With the rise of the digital age has come with it the rise of the female Instagram fashion influencer. She represents a form of supposedly egalitarian fame and fortune that was obtained through performing a type of labor that has been branded inherently feminine. In other words, the female Instagram fashion influencer represents the access, opportunity, and equality that is supposedly available to us in the twentieth century digital age. However, using both the trajectory of marketing and the historical devaluation of feminine labor as a lens, it becomes clear that this so called egalitarian form of fame and fortune is filled with questionable promises that have in the past, preyed on the hopes and hard work of women at the benefit of capitalist corporations, but also rewarded them for valuable labor. Additionally, the changes in ad revenue that came about as a result of the digitalization of content can foreshadow the ways in which the majority of female fashion Instagram influencers will be going uncompensated or undercompensated in the future, therefore turning this supposedly democratic form of celebrity into a career path that is viable, lucrative, and sustainable for very few.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.