On social media, Jessica Anteby is better known by her Instagram handle, @beigecardigan. Through her account, more than 3.5 million followers are treated to multiple memes per day, ranging from Kylie Jenner conspiracy theories to dating horror stories.
But to the Shorty Awards (basically the Oscars for social media stars, an awards show that honors those who have engaged mass audiences on a number of social platforms and created relatable humor and social commentary being consumed on a daily basis online), Anteby, who’s also a fashion stylist, is simply the wife of Elliot Tebele, the founder of @f***jerry, which is followed by more than 13 million people.
Despite Anteby’s success, she can’t seem to break out from under her business partner, whom she just so happens to be married to, when being regarded by the media. After creating @beigecardigan, the sister account of @f***jerry, the duo has taken on a number of business endeavors together. Most recently, they paired up to create a revamped version of the game Cards Against Humanity called What Do You Meme?
Regardless of the synchronicity they illustrate in both their work and their relationship, Anteby finds herself being referred to simply as her husband’s wife. On Sunday, she called the Shorty Awards out for doing just that.
“I’m the real life wife of @f***jerry!!!!!! But…Why isn’t he the real life husband of @beigecardiagan?!” Anteby wrote in a series of Instagram stories on Sunday, which highlighted the gendered difference in the way she’s introduced on the site, in comparison with her husband. Yet this is far from the first time she’s encountered this type of treatment.
In a feature of the pair published on InStyle in June, Anteby is almost completely disregarded except for a parenthetical description beside her handle. Through the piece’s first paragraph alone, Tebele is handed essentially all ownership over his brand — and hers.
“If you’re on Instagram, chances are you’re following one of Elliot Tebele’s viral accounts,” the article reads. “His meme-heavy feeds include @kanyedoingthings, @beigecardian (the brainchild of Jessica Anteby, Tebele’s wife), and, supreme among them, @f***jerry, which has over 12 million followers.”
Ironically, the piece features a photo of the pair as the lead image, which deeply contradicts the lack of partnership depicted throughout the writing. Instead, it seems as though the “wife” title was meant to encompass her role entirely — as it has been assumed to do in other instances as well. As per the example that Anteby provided in a follow-up post on her Instagram story, the title had previously been attached to a female Olympic athlete whom the Chicago Tribune referred to as the “wife of a Bears’ lineman.”
“Relatable,” Anteby wrote across a screenshot of a tweet revising the Chicago Tribune headline. The revision, which was made by women’s social club the Wing, gave a more enthused feminist twist to the original title. But there’s still further evidence about the ways in which women so quickly fall into the “wife” category, even when a story is about them.
Amal Clooney was a widely recognized recipient of the gendered title after giving birth to twins, and was simply referred to as the “wife of George Clooney” in the Associated Press’ announcement of the news. Again, the situation was rendered, as much as possible, by a number of other outlets calling Amal’s title misrepresentative of her own success and individual identity — things that should have been recognized in the first place.
The ongoing offensives, no matter how seemingly simple or small, are just another sign that there’s more change to be had. As for Anteby’s representation on the Shorty Awards website, the organization updated Tebele’s bio to match Anteby’s after Yahoo had published this article.
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