In the three years since that video was shot, however, the term has evolved. The joke of the Instagram-husband video was that these men are miserable. But Instagram and the digital landscape it created have shifted massively since the video was released. Those women people laughed at for taking endless photos in front of a brick wall are now influencers—people who leverage a social-media following to influence others and make money—and are worth millions. Read: Rising Instagram stars are posting fake sponsored content. One man on the front lines of this movement is Jordan Ramirez.
When Ramirez, a tech entrepreneur, married Dani Austin , a lifestyle influencer with a quarter of a million followers, in , the influencer world was still new to him. While Austin was jetting around the world shooting photos, picking outfits, scouting locations, producing YouTube videos, and growing her audience, Ramirez had a separate and unrelated career in the tech—start-up world.
Ramirez said the decision to pivot his career into a full-time Instagram husband was not an easy one.
In September, Ramirez launched The Instagram Husband Podcast , which is focused on telling the stories of the men behind the camera and redefining what it means to be an Instagram husband. Ramirez hopes the podcast can break down misconceptions and critique stereotypes. He admitted that when Austin first began to achieve mainstream success, he felt jealous and even inferior.
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He said it can be hard for some men when their wife finds fame. Just going out shopping with Austin can sometimes lead to him spending an hour taking photos of her with fans.
But Ramirez said that once he learned to embrace her success and fame, rather than resent it, things shifted. Looking forward to more of this in , only with a wayy more powerful lens. Like Ramirez, Stevens said his goal is to challenge the perception of what an Instagram husband is. Stevens said he uses his Instagram account to play on that and parody it. It is work.
The world was opening up for women and I wanted both worlds, not just bits of one or the other. And Tom wanted the same. At first, it was easy. Life was not only good, it felt fair.
You will constantly feel the need to compensate and prove yourself worthy of love, which will just backfire. A good husband relies on his wife, values her counsel, trusts her to love him even though he's not in command. Among the emails, one of the most popular themes was the importance of creating space and separation from one another. Be proud of each other. The fun activities sounds good, maybe you could try that again but smaller steps, keep at it. Yes, sure, there are guys who just phone in the housework, or the home repairs, or the date night plans, or whatever else. I guess we have to weigh up the pros and cons.
Then we had a son. Like that frog in the science experiment who has the sense to jump out of a pot of boiling water but, plopped into tepid water, he doesn't notice it gradually heating to boiling point until he is cooked, our division of labour through the years steadily grew laughably, ridiculously, irrationally, frustratingly unfair. He'd shoot back that my standards were too high.
When her house was burning down, she found dirty dishes in the sink and stood there washing them," he'd say. When it came to the kids, I took them to all their medical appointments. Tom didn't even know where the dentist's office was. Without question, I was the one who stayed at home or rearranged my work schedule when they were sick. All I asked for in return, I told Tom, was this: "I just want you to notice — and say thank you. Grousing about how little husbands do at home is a regular and tiresomely predictable social exchange.
And though the sociologist Arlie Hochschild first wrote in the s about how women come home from a full day of work to a "second shift" of housework and childcare, the same is true in the 21st century. Even though time studies show men are doing more around the house and with the kids, women are still doing twice as much.
Sociologists call it the "stalled gender revolution". A host of surveys have found that arguing over housework is one of the main sources of conflict in relationships.
One survey in the UK found that women spend as much as three hours a week redoing chores that they think their partners have done badly. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 's time studies found that men, unlike women, tend to have a choice whether to be involved in domestic duties. But for women, home, no matter how filled with love, is just another workplace. What he called the "mental labour" of keeping track of all that stuff to do crashing around in a brain that can only hold seven pieces of information in its working memory, winds up making women's time feel "contaminated".
There is a reason for that gaping domestic divide. It's not because women will wash dishes in a burning house and men are Lion King slobs. But it took me more than a year of soul searching to begin to see past my rage to understand why and then work out what to do about it. DeGroot runs ThirdPath Institute and for more than a decade, has worked to help families create something entirely new: not the traditional s "first path" families, like my parents. Not the "neotraditional" "second path" families of dual earners with one breadwinner, usually the man, and one flexi- or part-time working spouse, usually the woman, who also tends to be in charge of all the child care and domestic chores — like mine.
The third path, DeGroot explains, is for couples who want to share their work and home lives as full partners, each one with time for work, love and play. These norms are what get us into a state of being so intense I'd come to think of it as the Overwhelm. And spinning in the Overwhelm keeps us from having the time to imagine a way out. Talk to a father about cutting back on work hours to become more involved at home, and the ideal worker takes a tug. Talk to a mother about stepping aside to let the father do more with the kids and all three cultural norms yank that chain and shut her up.
Aren't women just naturally meant to be the better parent? Isn't it selfish for a mother to want to work?
To start down the third path, DeGroot asks people to fight what she calls "the good fight" just when the Overwhelm kicks into gear: when the first baby is born. That one event changes a woman's life profoundly and, until very recently, a man's life hardly at all. To help people like Tom and I get unstuck, she asks couples to pause, to dedicate regular time to what she calls "active listening" — without judgment — to each other to sort through where they are and talk about what they really want for their life together.
She asks them to imagine together how to bridge the gap. Then try little "experiments" to make it happen. Over and over. Until the vision gets clearer, and the path to it better lit. So I took out my notebook and began asking questions. I ranted through 20 years of pent-up anger in weekly "active listening" sessions with DeGroot.
I went for long walks with Tom. We both slowly realised that we never had talked about what we really wanted. When we said we wanted to be equal partners, we had only a vague notion of what that meant. We just took our assumptions and swallowed them like a bitter pill. Only one father had and he was a 'star'. So I took the long maternity leave. I became the default parent and we both assumed it was "natural" anyway. Since I was at home more, I began to take charge of everything else, too.