11 episodes

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.

Under the Influence with Jo Piazza iHeartRadio

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 333 Ratings

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.

    Is This The End?

    Is This The End?

    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.
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    • 44 min
    It’s Time For A Reckoning

    It’s Time For A Reckoning

    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.
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    • 45 min
    Burning Cats

    Burning Cats

    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. 
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    • 45 min
    An Intermission

    An Intermission

    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.
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    • 21 min
    The Sharenthood

    The Sharenthood

    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.
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    • 51 min
    If You Build It, They Will Come

    If You Build It, They Will Come

    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?
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    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
333 Ratings

333 Ratings

LGABCC ,

Fabulous!

Jo Piazza is an incredible storyteller. She has an amazing perspective and comes at everything in a kind, honest, well-rounded way. Loved this deep dive into the influencer world! Her voice is soothing and so enjoyable to listen to— have the calm app/adult storytelling people heard about her?!
I loved this season! Hope there’s a second!

lemonhead1937 ,

So good

This podcast was so good. I shared it with my sister-in-law halfway through the season and she binged the first half in one day! We’d love to see a season 2!

redhrdhad ,

Fascinating!

As a frequent consumer of momfluencers - this podcast feels like an elevated scratch for a similar itch. Like talking to a friend about how weird yet intoxicating that world is. Love it!

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