She wakes up every morning—thanks God for being alive—and opens up the Instagram app on her phone. In the bottom right corner pops up the orange notification tab; thousands of likes, hundreds of comments, and hundreds of followers appear. Briefly after checking her DMs and comments, she gets dressed for the day.
She spends extra time making sure her appearance is unflawed. Putting on makeup, styling her hair, and dressing in trendy, appealing clothes is how she prepares to head out to take on the world. People on the street may see an attractive woman but social media users see an “IG baddie.”
Braelyn Greenfield, better known as B. Simone (@thebsimone2) is recognized for her social media fame. With a whopping 487k followers, her Instagram posts have opened doors for her to be able to entertain, act, and do standup comedy. However, she explains it has not always been this way, originally gained attention for her appealing pictures and often being compared to late R&B singer, Aaliyah.
“I don’t want them to say ‘Oh yeah! That’s that light skin pretty girl!’ I want them to say I’m funny before they say I’m pretty,” said B. Simone. “I feel like I am very talented. For me, being an IG Baddie isn’t enough. I have goals way bigger than Instagram.”
82 percent of women believe that social media influences how we define beauty today, according to a study conducted by Dove in 2014. Moreover, a 2016 Dove study showed 56 percent of all women recognize the impact of an “always on” social media culture in driving the pressure for perfection. The trend not only being seen in youth, but in ages spanning all the way to 64 years old.
The popularity of women’s beauty and Instagram has affected users worldwide, even students here at Saint Peter’s University.
Sisters Rasheeka and Kaneeta Imran are known at the university for their makeup, hair, and clothes. Both are adamant about the way they present themselves, spending up to three hours getting ready before they make their commute to school every morning. They walk around campus together, often getting stares and glances for the way they look.
“In the beginning, I felt left out and never noticed,” said Rasheeka, a sophomore majoring in Biology.”I just wanted to look better for me not for other people.”
Rasheeka first learned about the IG Baddie movement in high school when she saw a fellow classmate with “flawless skin.” After asking her several questions, she slowly started to purchase makeup and instantly fell in love with the process of beautification. Meanwhile, little sister Kaneeta watched and was intrigued by how her sister was able to transform.
“I feel like she inspires me,” said Undecided freshman Kaneeta. If it wasn’t for her, I’d probably be a different way but because I hang out with her so much, I look up to her. If she got into makeup, it was meant for me too. It’s our bond…….we like the same things.”
Along with the trend follows the pressure to look like the top Instagram women. There has been an increase in women getting plastic surgery and other procedures done. Since 2000, plastic surgeries have risen 115 percent, according to the Annual Plastic Surgery Procedural Statistics. Procedures range from breast augmentations to going as far as rib removal for a slimmer waist.
“Women see ‘oh well look! Kim Kardashian is becoming famous through her Instagram posts,’” said Saint Peter’s associate professor of Psychology Joshua Feinburg. “Women are doing different things to alter their appearance whether it is actually altering it or through technology, creating the illusion and that is getting them attention.”
According to an informal survey conducted on Saint Peter’s University Snapchat story (which had 19 responses), 41.1 percent recognize that students at Saint Peter’s either are, or somewhat are, being affected by the “IG Baddie” trend and 42.1 percent of students would go through with physical alterations if they could.
Angie Rivera (@f0bzillaaaa) is a veterinary technician by day and a popular Instagrammer by night. She is known for her different hairstyles, makeup looks, and her strong sense of style. With 18.7k followers, she has gained so much attention that she has been reposted by not only other Instagrammers, but growing businesses as well; resulting in her being contacted by several companies to promote their product.
“If I plan on posting then my physical appearance matters,” said Rivera. “If I’m at work then I don’t care: I don’t do my hair or makeup. But, I have noticed that I do care about my physical appearance when it comes to being taken seriously publically.”
On the other hand, men perceive IG Baddies and their physical appearance differently. Some men love everything the woman has to offer on her page, while others hate how it has made women in real life look.
“I feel like... they really kind of lose who they are,” said student Mamadou Ndiaye. “They are definitely attractive females but you know how males are. They see a lot of followers and a pretty face and get excited.”
For the most part, several women on Instagram with a mass following receive positive comments under their posts. Kaylani Felizardo (@lani__feli) gained 46.1k Instagram followers for being a 17-year-old professional makeup artist with an average of 4,000 likes under her posts.
“Most of my followers are encouraged by my looks and will tell me I inspired them to do something different with their hair or makeup,” Felizardo said.
Most of these IG Baddies are careful with what they post, knowing that it can influence the way their followers think or see themselves. They want to continue to use their platform to send a message to women worldwide that they can be confident in the way they look, without social media’s approval.