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theory, visuals as ideological representations have been used to analyze how news images are employed as instruments of power in the shaping of public consciousness and historical imagination (Anden-Papadopoulos, 2007). Moreover, this level can be applied to analyzing the power behind selfies taken and posted by celebrities and famous figures. My research question and sub-questions are:
50 RQ1: Are female celebrity selfies different than male celebrity selfies on Instagram? RQ1a: Is there a significant difference in the clothing shown between female celebrity selfies and male celebrity selfies? RQ1b: Is there a significant difference in social distance between female celebrity selfies and male celebrity selfies? RQ1c: Is there a significant difference in visual modality between female celebrity selfies and male celebrity selfies? RQ1d: Is there a significant difference in posing between female celebrity selfies and male celebrity selfies? RQ1e: Is there a difference in between the manner of the mouth between female celebrity selfies and male celebrity selfies? Method For this study, 500 images total from the Instagram accounts of six female celebrities and six male celebrities (45 selfies per celebrity, except for two celebrities who will each have 25) went through a visual content analysis based on their popularity, the number of selfies that they post on their accounts, and the activeness of their accounts. A visual content analysis was the appropriate methodology because it is a systematic, observational method used for testing hypotheses about the ways in which the media represent people, events, situations, etc. (Van Leeuwen & Jewitt 2001). This study is an in-depth continuation of a study conducted in a paper called “Elitism and Identity in Fashion: A Content Analysis of Fashion Designers, Houses, and Stores on Instagram” that was accepted to the 2014 Southwest Education Council for Journalism and Mass Communication (SWECJMC) Symposium at the Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado. For the six female celebrity accounts, the account of reality television star of the show Keeping Up with the Kardashians Kylie Jenner, her older sister Kim Kardashian West, also a
51 reality television star of the show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, another reality television star of the show Keeping Up with the Kardashians Khloe Kardashian, and another reality television star of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and model Kendall Jenner, music superstar Rihanna, and Pretty Little Liars actress Shay Mitchell were analyzed. For the six male celebrity accounts, the accounts of rapper Snoop Dogg, pop star Austin Mahone, pop star Justin Bieber, NBA player Kevin Durant, NBA player LeBron James, and actor James Franco were analyzed.