Tradwife Content Offers Fundamentalism Fit for Instagram

The latest influencer movement wants to “bring back” a narrow vision of biblical womanhood with pretty pictures, long dresses, and homemade bread.

Let’s bring back beauty,” begins the caption of a viral reel on Instagram.

The clip features Christian influencer Katie Calabrese in an airy long dress followed by a montage of images: flowers on an open Bible, a clothesline full of linen neutrals, a clean stairwell with wooden floors and shiplap walls, a faceless woman standing in front of a bowl of dough while holding a baby.

The caption lists other things she wants to bring back: “ladies who know how to whip up a delicious meal for unexpected guests,” going to church, having big families, and “loving your husband and singing his praises in front of others.”

Calabrese belongs to a cohort of online “tradwife” influencers, whose personas are built on the revival of various “traditional” expressions of femininity, marriage, homemaking, and family life. The thrust of their callback message rings familiar to those who grew up in fundamentalist Christian circles, though it’s uniquely packaged for Instagram and TikTok, where tradwife posts have grown substantially since 2020.

Tradwife content is unabashedly ahistorical, drawing on ideas and imagery from across time periods. Some tradwives build their brand with a 1950s June Cleaver persona, wearing lipstick and an A-line dress to do housework. Others evoke imagined versions of Little House on the Prairie: long dresses, rustic homemade bread, and rural homesteads. Some posts borrow painted images of Victorian households or Regency-era social gatherings.

Unlike other influencers who create content about homeschooling or homesteading, a tradwife influencer makes faithfulness to some aspect of “traditional” womanhood a central tenet of their online brand and …

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