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Under the Influence with Jo Piazza

Society-and-culture • Technology

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 thatRead more

Popular episodes

Bonus: Pay the Bookstagramers!

Oct 8 • 29:18

Momfluencers aren’t the only online creators that have to fight for fair pay. Bookstagram is full of women posting dreamy photos of books and thoughtful reviews of titles, new and old. Their content drives a ridiculous amount of book sales, but do publishers pay the women making these posts? Rarely...if ever. Mostly they just get free books, which doesn’t exactly pay the b...

Bonus: I Wiped My Kids From My Instagram

Sep 2 • 27:57

A stranger recently approached Jo's kids and their babysitter on the playground. She acted like she knows them, like she knows Jo. But none of it is true. Are you terrified? We sure are....

Bonus: In the Michael's Parking Lot

May 13 • 31:05

What happens when a mom influencer broadcasts the attempted kidnapping of her children in the parking lot of a crafting store in California wine country? What happens when those claims are completely untrue? This bonus episode dives into the case of mom influencer Katie Sorensen and what happened last December when she falsely accused a Latino couple of trying to kidnap he...

Is This The End?

Apr 15 • 47:39

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...

It’s Time For A Reckoning

Apr 1 • 48:04

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 ...

Burning Cats

Mar 25 • 48:28

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 gotte...

An Intermission

Mar 18 • 23:18

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 ...

The Sharenthood

Mar 11 • 54:27

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 a...

If You Build It, They Will Come

Mar 4 • 51:39

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...

An Authentic Woman

Feb 25 • 43:44

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 authen...

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