If you’re on Instagram, then you have probably heard of Dan Bilzerian; if not, then you are among the lucky few. Deemed Instagram’s “Most Interesting Man,” he has garnered over five million followers. Bilzerian is a 33-year-old poker player whose posts are so ridiculous it’s hard to believe he’s not being satirical. His constant posts of nude women not only promote the dehumanization of women but also perpetuates an archaic masculine construct predicated upon power and control. Women are reduced to an essentialist reality of disposable objects; of digitized images to be shared, commented upon, and ultimately controlled as a sexualized means of entertainment.
Instead of promoting him as “the most interesting man,” here are 10 reasons why he is everything wrong with society:
- He objectifies women on a mainstream platform, normalizing women as background rather than actual human beings. This is also a reflection of societal values, given the number of followers he has.
- He conveys to women that their self worth is solely based upon their looks and body. These women aren’t forced to be his “entourage,” they willingly choose so. He has reached a certain level of notoriety to where these women unwittingly take his representation of them as a badge of honor. There is nothing wrong with being sexually empowered, however it becomes an issue when they don’t have ownership of their sexuality. According to Everyday Feminism, “Sexual empowerment is active. It’s ownership. Autonomous. Self-serving. Objectification, on the other hand, is a passive relenting of control. It’s powerless. Self-sacrificial.”
- He perpetuates the stereotype that violence, dominance and sex are intertwined with masculinity. Young boys look up to him as someone they want to become and continues the false notion to “man up.”
- He falsely portrays that guns, “babes,” cars, and money will make you happy. We live in a generation where people are more materialistic due to social media. Happiness is reduced to the materiality of objects; digitized and instantaneously shared, containing no real worth.
- His constant posts imply that women are nothing more than an accessory to men’s success.
- He perpetuates a false persona; your social media life is your real life.
- He gives the impression to his followers that social media “success” is forever. He’s “famous” for the sake of being famous. He presents himself with no real depth or substance, however brags about his success through glorified posts. Young people, men and women, see his success as something attainable in a “if he can do it, then I can” mentality and emulate it.
- He initially gained his money from his father in the form of a trust fund which kickstarted his gambling career.
- He demands our “respect” because of his lavish lifestyle.
- He gets paid for his continuous objectification of women and obscene lifestyle–including throwing a porn star off his roof and breaking her foot.
There is nothing wrong with being wealthy or living a lavish life. The issue is when you associate a lifestyle full of cars, women, and guns with the definition of manhood. Using women as an accessory to provide men with a false sense of masculine identity becomes problematic. Over time, this teaches men that they deserve women because we are simply a means to their end. Witnessing stereotypical gender roles in 2014 being praised to the extent that a man can make a living off the objectification of women is disappointing. As a society, we are supposed to be moving forward. Dan Bilzerian embodies everything that is pushing us back.