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Instagram model in hot water for underwear selfie comparing herself to a rice farmer.

Instagram model in hot water for underwear selfie comparing herself to a rice farmer.

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The past decade has ushered in the new reality of influencer culture, where young hip Instagram models are sent across the world to document their travels and promote brands.

As with most micro manifestations of capitalism, influencer culture is a self-perpetuating system. If you're already popular online, it's a lot easier to get offered free swag, trips, and brand sponsorships then if you're starting from scratch.

And from there, the followers quickly accrue, as do your opportunities to travel and promote online.

Given the performative privilege of being an influencer, and the scores and scores of sexy photos required, when white Western Instagram models travel, it's like white woman tourism on steroids.

Given this cultural tension, there was a great deal of backlash when the Instagram model Natalie Schlater posted a photo of herself gazing into an Indonesian rice field, with the caption: "Thinking about how different my life is from the man picking rice in this field every single morning."

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