Lele Pons is just one of a dozen social media influencers making a living off of posing insensitive and backward content. (Image via YouTube)

Instagram Influencers Need to Stop Trivializing Social Issues in the Name of ‘Humor’

You wouldn’t laugh when your friend is cheated on in real life, so why would you laugh when it happens on screen?

Thoughts x
Lele Pons is just one of a dozen social media influencers making a living off of posing insensitive and backward content. (Image via YouTube)

You wouldn’t laugh when your friend is cheated on in real life, so why would you laugh when it happens on screen?

Influencers on Instagram have a nasty habit of posting content that trivializes the objectification of women, violence and adultery. They refer to themselves as “comedians” because no one else will.

If the trend continues, these videos will eventually warp young malleable minds to believe that this type of crass humor and behavior is acceptable.

One of the more prominent perpetrators of this practice is Jon Paul Piques, more commonly known simply as PiquesPiques is among the top social media influencers, with over 11 million combined followers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. His Instagram account is littered with thumbnails of butts, babes and blurred out breasts.

One of his videos, captioned “When She Knows How to Get What She Wants!” is equally uninspired as it is nauseating.

In the video, Piques’ apparent girlfriend enters the room in a skintight jumpsuit and asks if she can have some money to buy herself a new purse. Because women are not independent and must ask the breadwinner for an allowance, right? Piques makes a face and disdainfully declines.

Just as the title of the video implies, Piques’ girlfriend knows how to get what she wants. She curls toward the door in a sexy pose that pops her moneymaker out and coos, “I’ll let you put it in my butt.”

Naturally, the suggestive suggestion piques Piques’ interest, and he immediately makes it rain — single dollar bills, might I add — on his girlfriend, who is now reveling in her success while a popular rap song plays in the background. The point of her jumping at the end is not even to show how excited she is, but to make her other assets bounce for an even more tantalizing experience.

In a matter of 17 seconds, Piques manages to reduce his actress to a pair of breasts and establish his own immaturity, all for a joke about what is, by definition, prostitution.

I am not the only person who has called Piques out on his disgusting content. A healthy number of the comments on this video alone are people sent by Drew Gooden, Cody Ko and Pewdiepie, among others, marking the video as “unfunny” and the “downfall of comedy.”

Unfortunately, not every comedian is held accountable for their crimes against hilarity. Because Piques is relatively famous and his videos are often featured on the Instagram explore page, by law of averages, more people have and will critique his content than someone with fewer followers.

Someone like up-and-coming comedian B Watts has a smaller, more select fanbase of just over 230,000 that actually supports his racy, vile sense of humor.

One such example is one of B Watt’s most popular videos, titled “When guys hear the word ‘friend!’

B Watts and his female companion are taking a stroll when her cellphone rings, and she stops to answer it. B Watts dances behind her while she is distracted, presumably in celebration that he has such a lovely lady hanging on his arm.

The tone dramatically shifts when the woman tells whoever is on the phone that she is out walking with her “friend.” B Watts does not like this. He proceeds to put a knife to her throat — a knife! — and calls her out on all the girlfriend-type behavior she has exhibited during their friendship and demands that she admit she is his “bae.”

Satisfied with her shaky answer, B Watts carries on as if nothing has happened. And just when you think this skit cannot get anymore absurd, the video cuts to the woman, who is still holding her throat after her life has just been threatened by someone she thought was her friend, and she says with a grin, “Ooh, I think he love me.”

I don’t know what this clip having over 1 million views says about his other videos, but it certainly speaks volumes about his fans.

A video like this tells men and impressionable young boys that it is justifiable to be aggressive with a woman if you do not like her answer. The woman is expected to be B Watt’s girlfriend because of the actions that he believes entitle him to claim her instead of letting her behave and choose by her own free will. A video like this also tells women that they should consider themselves lucky if a man is ever rough with them.

Not that any of this would be any more excusable if they were younger, but both Piques and B Watts are over the age of 30. Aren’t you supposed to grow wiser with age?

This video by Julius Dein and friends has it all: frat boys hanging out, cheating and gaslighting and a hot woman who is involuntarily undressed.

The scene plays out an egotistical male’s fantasy where he controls and manipulates everything around him, including his “bitch.”

Men like this must also hide their insecurities by pretending that they can get any woman they desire, as demonstrated at the tail end of the sketch.

The truth is, how much of a loser are you if the only way you can get a chick to take her clothes off is by waving a magic wand?

A common theme among many of these Instagram skits is cheating. Accusations of it, getting away with it, what to do if you are caught. No matter the perspective, the creator almost always takes the cheater’s side. They fail to take the victim’s pain into consideration and instead exploit it for a laugh.

Take this video by Lele Pons for example, titled “How to not get caught.”

Instagram influencers Lele Pons
Twenty-two-year-old Lele Pons has received a lot of criticism regarding lying, betraying friends and obsessing over follower count. (Image via Contact Celebrities)

Pons has her lover pretend that he is her gay best friend to avoid confrontation with her boyfriend, who has just returned home. The audience is meant to laugh at not only her lover imitating every male homosexual stereotype in the book, but also at the boyfriend’s paranoia, and his hysterical “I knew it!” at the end is presumably the punchline.

The viewers are supposed to root for Pons and her lover to successfully deceive the boyfriend and break his heart.

Trust is a vital component in any type of relationship. You need to know that you are safe in your partner’s hands, both physically and emotionally.

As social media continues to grow, so does the influence of these so-called Instagram comedians. These rising stars need to be more mindful of the messages in the content that they post, so that they don’t raise a generation of people who genuinely believe infidelity is funny.

Conversely, the audience should not willingly consume and accept comedy that objectifies women, condones violence and glorifies cheating.

There is no “LOL” in “insensitive.”

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Caitlyn Conville

Bergen Community College

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