Thea Glassman has flagged an (inactive?) Instagram account, and noted, with regret, that no male equivalent (well, not on Instagram) exists. If so, it could be that for whichever reasons, societal ideals for male beauty skew a bit older:
Sigh. Where was I?
Oh yes: What to make, then, of the IDF-hotties genre? Pro-Israel, pro-military propaganda, perhaps. Intentional distraction from the constant flow of upsetting news from the region, very likely. Pushback against the (diasporic) stereotype that Jews, Jewish women specifically, aren’t that good-looking? Maybe that as well.
But there’s also the fact that in a country with mandatory military service, IDF soldiers are just… 19-year-olds, give or take. 19-year-olds who probably work out a bit more than most, and who, because Israel, probably eat vegetables. (At 19, I meandered from dorm to classroom in Chicago and subsisted on dining hall cereal because the dining-hall non-cereal options were vile.)
While I’m more a pet- and Japanese-home-decor-Instagram person myself, I get that a big point of the platform is showcasing fit 19-year-old women in bikinis, to be drooled over or envied or both. So maybe it is not, after all, that complicated. (It probably is, all told, quite complicated.) We can just hope no young woman was placed on the site without her consent, and return to the very important business of wondering what Justin Trudeau is up to.
IDF Women Drooled Over on Instagram
Phoebe Maltz Bovy edits the Sisterhood, and can be reached at email@example.com. Her book, The Perils of “Privilege”, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in March 2017.
IDF Hotties Instagram: A Politically-Tinged Thirst-Trap
Phoebe Maltz Bovy is a former editor of the Sisterhood blog at the Forward. Her writing has appeared in several publications, including The New Republic and The Atlantic. Her book, “The Perils of ‘Privilege,’” was published by St. Martin’s Press in March 2017. She has a PhD in French and French Studies from New York University, and has read a lot of 19th century French Jewish newspapers for a 21st century American.