Under the Influence with Jo Piazza

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Category: Society & Culture

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Subscribers: 95
Reviews: 1

Susan
 Feb 10, 2021
One episode in and I am already hooked! This is like Serial meets Momstagram and I'm here for it.

Description

Under the Influence is a deep dive into the Mom Internet, a place haunted by aspirational marketing where it feels like every other mom is a social media influencer trying to sell you something, all while posed in white kitchens that never seem to get messy… with toddlers in cloth diapers that never ever leak; a bastion of carefully curated lives that are #blessed.And behind this airbrushed perfection is money, so much money. Billions and billions of dollars.Journalist and mom Jo Piazza looks at how we got here, what it all means and how the commodification of motherhood is driving mothers a little insane. And through it all she wonders whether or not she has what it takes to join the ranks of the momstagrammers, if she too can make thousands of dollars off beautiful photos of bath time, frolic-ing in fields of purple flowers and posing her newborn next to a beautiful latte.

Episode Date
Is This The End?
2682
Over the course of a year of reporting on mom influencers we watched the business model evolve and shift in myriad ways. There are brand new mom influencers on TikTok who weren't even doing this when we started the podcast. And they're killing it! Jo talks to some of the moms who are just crushing it on the video platform and, of course, tries to master TikTok herself. How do you think that's going to go? We also look to the future of influencing, starting with a conversation between Jo and Gabrielle Carteris, President of SAG-AFTRA, about bringing influencers into their union. There’s so much possibility for this industry and the women who are a part of it. As we wrap up the season, Jo reflects on all of this and decides where she lands in the fabric of the influencer world. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 15, 2021
It’s Time For A Reckoning
2719
In the influencer industry, women make more money than men, but, as in the real world, there's still a steep racial pay gap. There’s an Instagram account that documents this. @InfluencerPayGap brings transparency to the money influencers make from brands and also to document the pay gap between white influencers and influencers of color. Racial inequality is embedded into the influencer space and it weighs heavily on influencers of color. In this episode we talk to the women who are trying to fight against it while the industry is still young and malleable. Unfortunately, this is just one of many real world problems that finds itself being replicated in the influencer space. Politics, conspiracy theories...they creep into our online lives and make our feeds a dark, dark, place. Like QAnon dark. Is there a way out of this? Does the influencer industry really have to fall into the toxic patterns that dominate nearly every other industry on Earth? This week, Jo sets out to find an answer to that. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Apr 01, 2021
Burning Cats
2743
It’s no secret the internet can be a terrible place to be a woman. Any woman who ends up in the spotlight faces an intense amount of criticism and hate. For many reasons, the majority of that hate tends to come from other women and in the mom influencer industrial complex it often comes from other moms. After putting herself out there as a potential influencer Jo has gotten her fair share of online hate, but as a former gossip reporter she also has a long history of doling it out. In this episode Jo talks with a woman who built a website to hate on other women online, an original mom influencer who buckled under the hate, and reckons with how to break the cycle of woman on woman hate online. If that’s even possible.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 25, 2021
An Intermission
1293
In the past six episodes, we’ve travelled far and wide across Instagram’s momosphere. We’ve gone through the history of influencing, learned how to craft the perfect Instagram post, and weighed the consequences of sharing your life and your kids’ lives online. That last one really weighed on Jo. Learning about the potential dangers of posting about your children on social media was a shock and made her question this entire influencer experiment. This week, we’re taking a mental health break away from the ‘gram to process what we know about this insane world. We’ll be back next week with a full episode, but for now Jo and Glynnis have a quick chat to digest The Sharenthood and discuss whether Jo should continue as an influencer. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 18, 2021
The Sharenthood
3102
The French have laws limiting parents who Instagram their children. We have no such restrictions in the United States. In fact, social media and the world of influencing are still the wild west when it comes to children, the adorable little creatures whose images are fueling this industry. This episode got darker than we expected as we try to figure out the psychological and emotional impact of sharing images of children online. There are issues of privacy, of consent, of dignity. These ethical and moral quandaries have no easy answers and the only models we have for what this will look like in twenty years are child stars. And, well, we all know how most of them turned out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 11, 2021
If You Build It, They Will Come
2934
What goes into making the perfect Instagram post? After being unceremoniously rejected from the Harvard of influencing, Jo manages to convince RewardStyle to let her in anyway. In this episode she puts their lessons to use, and tries her best to turn herself into an influencer, to create a shoppable life. She quickly discovers one of the dirty little secrets of influencing: influencers are hiring professional photographers to take a week or a month of content at once. Yes! Influencer photographers are the new wedding photographers. So Jo hires one and tries to take beautiful pictures of her entire family in matching pajamas. This is a disaster. But is it a profitable one? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Mar 04, 2021
An Authentic Woman
2458
Authenticity might be the most over-used word in the influencer industrial complex. But what does it even mean? What the hell is an authentic woman? An authentic mother? From celebrities to politicians to Instagram moms, women are attacked for trying too hard to get it, or are ripped to shreds for not having enough. This week, Jo tries to figure out how to be a more authentic mother by going to both extremes: she speaks to the surfing Instagram mamas of Byron Bay, as well as a woman who chose to post her home birth on Instagram stories. But at the end of the day is searching for authenticity online just a trap designed to keep us on a hedonistic treadmill that makes us feel bad about ourselves? Or is it actually possible to be a real mom and still get paid for it. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 25, 2021
A Shoppable Life
2305
There is a Harvard of influencing. Yes, you read that correctly. And we're going there...or, at least we're applying. Until recently Instagram was for looking, not buying. But one very savvy tech founder helped to solve that disconnect; a woman, naturally. Amber Venz Box is a 34 year old mother of four and the founder of RewardStyle and LikeToKnowIt. In the past decade, her companies have driven $8 billion in sales for brands. This week, with Amber's help, Jo applies to become a RewardStyle influencer and tries to figure out if her life is shoppable. Shoppability is a new term, one that even academics are now using. But finding out if your life as a mother is shoppable is like asking which of your kids is more commercial. And that's where this all starts to get a little uncomfortable. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 18, 2021
Women's Work
2978
Mom influencing is a multi-billion dollar industry. How the hell did we get here? How did influencing become a job? Why doesn’t Wikipedia mention mom bloggers in their history of women and what does the 19th Century economic philosopher Thorstein Veblen have to do with why we are so enchanted by people who seem wealthier than we are. Consider this your history lesson of women influencing other women to attempt to lead more perfect lives. We start in 1896 with the creation of Vogue, wonder if Lucille Ball was actually the first mom influencer, and scroll all the way to the the beautiful mess of the early Mom Internet. Moms have been commodified since the beginning of moms, the only difference now is who is making the goddamn money. And if past is prologue, will answering all these questions help Jo figure out how to become the influencer of her dreams? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 11, 2021
A More Perfect Mother
2422
It’s two in the morning and journalist and author Jo Piazza cannot stop scrolling and scrolling through Instagram, gazing at picture-perfect images of motherhood that look nothing like her own life mothering her baby and toddler. But she realizes that with just one click she can attempt to buy these women’s perfect lives...because every other mother on Instagram is trying to sell you something. Who are these women? Why are they so mesmerizing? Dive down the rabbit hole of the billion dollar mom influencer world with Jo as she pulls back the curtain on this under-reported and under-valued industry. Stop number one, the Mormon Church. Why are so many successful mom influencers members of the LDS community? Have they cracked the code to getting paid for the unpaid labor of motherhood? And how does this all relate to porn? At the end of the day Jo begins to wonder, as she watches her own media industry crumble around her, could this be the future of content? The future of her career? Could she get paid to be a more perfect mother? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Feb 04, 2021
Under the Influence with Jo Piazza
262
Under the Influence is a deep dive into the Mom Internet, a place haunted by aspirational marketing where every mom is a social media influencer trying to sell you something, all while posed in white kitchens that never seem to get messy…with toddlers in cloth diapers that never ever leak; a bastion of carefully curated lives that are #blessed. Behind the airbrushed perfection is a multi-billion dollar industry that is dominated and consumed by women, yet largely ignored by the mainstream media. Journalist and mom Jo Piazza looks at how we got here, what it all means, and how the commodification of motherhood is driving women a little insane. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com
Dec 09, 2020