Under the Influence with Jo Piazza

Under the Influence with Jo Piazza

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.

Episodes

April 15, 2021 44 min

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 t...

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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 influe...

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March 25, 2021 45 min

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 repo...

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March 18, 2021 21 min

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 influenc...

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March 11, 2021 51 min

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. Th...

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March 4, 2021 48 min

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 ...

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February 25, 2021 40 min

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 surf...

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February 18, 2021 38 min

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 bran...

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February 11, 2021 49 min

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 ...

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February 4, 2021 40 min

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 ...

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December 9, 2020 4 min

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 an...

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