Research Output
#50+ fashion Instagram influencers: cognitive age and aesthetic digital labours
  This paper demonstrates how #50+ fashion Instagram influencers contribute to the social construction of cognitive age through their aesthetic digital labours.
Non-participative netnography in the form of visual and textual analysis of over 300 Instagram posts including images, captions and comments.
Findings reveal how outfit selection, background choices and bodily poses redefine expressions of look age through forms of aesthetic labour. Post construction, hashtag and emoji usage illustrates how influencers refrain from directly posting about the fashion brands that they endorse. Instead, image and personality work visually attracts followers to politically charged posts which directly impact upon the social and cultural contexts where influencers are active. This ties into present day wider societal discourses.
50+ fashion influencers have high spending power. Fashion brands should refrain from using #brand and collaborate in more subtle ways and concentrate on challenging the negativity of the old age cliché.
Advances theory on the social construction of age in fashion studies by combining cognitive age with aesthetic labour to identify the characteristics of the social phenomenon of the 50+ Instagram influencer. Applies principles from critical visual analysis to digital context thereby advancing the qualitative netnographic toolkit.

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  • Date:

    10 April 2020

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  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


McFarlane, A., & Samsioe, E. (in press). #50+ fashion Instagram influencers: cognitive age and aesthetic digital labours. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 24(3), 399-413.



Influencer, fashion, Instagram, netnography

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