No matter how much we try to curate our feeds, we will always end up stumbling across a fashion blogger or influencer of some sort with their impeccable outfits and preened to perfection beauty. Social Media has changed consumerism and does, given the title of the profession, hugely influence what we spend our cash on. A whopping 70% of millennials are more likely to buy something on an influencers recommendation, compared to celebrities. That is a staggering statistic that shows the power of the industry and why it is in its prime because companies make huge profits from this form of advertising. But, on the flipside, we often see girls especially, being criticised for being ‘Insta Girls’.
I think we females, have all gone through a stage when we’ve been scrolling through Instagram and felt insecure. Why we don’t have tiny bodies, an extensive wardrobe, designer clothes and being able to travel the world as part of our job? It is easy to fall down a rabbit hole of comparison, and I totally agree that it isn’t healthy. But are these girls to blame? Are they really doing anything wrong? We often see them painted as showing an unrealistic life, but by now, I’m sure most of us know that Instagram is just a highlights reel. Nobody posts themselves rolling out of bed at 7 am with bed hair. Nobody shares the tears they shed or the bad days they have. We only share the nights out, the purchases, our holidays, our cocktail boomerangs. It is all the good stuff but sadly for some, the ability to separate Instagram vs Reality is more common than we think. In fact, if you google Instagram vs Reality, the first hit you see is ‘how people lie about their lives’ which I find incorrect. Some may be deceptive, posting plane shots when really they landed home three weeks ago but so what? What is the big issue?
So back to my question about influencers and if they have a moral duty to show the ‘real them’ and not this glamorous version of themselves. Truthfully, my answer is no. These girls didn’t sign up to be role models or people to look up to. Most started out sharing their passion for clothes and makeup, not knowing that there was an industry that was about to boom. These are simply girls, looking good but mainly – hustling and making money. We know it is a lucrative job so these girls are making serious cash and why not? They’re young and doing something they love, and sadly, for most people, they don’t have the chance to do that. We see people graduating and struggling to get jobs in the degrees they worked hard at or people being told they are ‘overqualified’ for positions that nowadays, most people fall into their career. I know I certainly never envisaged what I do for a living now, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I’ve seen these girls pitched as walking clothes horses, airheads, perfection (that doesn’t exist) but worst of all bad influences. We all have our insecurities, but we can’t blame them on a girl we follow on Instagram that looks flawless. We need to turn to ourselves and go ‘ok, why can’t I embrace who I am and love me for me’ than compare ourselves to something we just can’t be. We can’t magically morphe how we look. They are painted in a bad light but stop and ask yourself – how many items have they inspired you to buy? I know I have bought items from boots to jackets to perfumes and foundations from these girls. And that ladies and gentlemen, is their job. Simply what they are paid to do for a living yet they are trolled for doing so. I know I’d hate to go into my office, do a piece of work that my company love but have total strangers tell me I was ‘fake’ or sending a ‘bad message’ because I wouldn’t be. The industry might be new, and we are all adjusting to it but, these people are reaping the benefits and if anything, we should step back and ask ourselves do these girls have a ‘duty of care’ to create content they wouldn’t enjoy or be proud of because of our own insecurities? I agree sometimes it borders on the ridiculous – a photoshoot at the cinema with an ice blast – but we don’t have to consume that if we don’t want to.
I would have to say from books, fashion and beauty; I get my recommendations from Social Media. It has been a while book wise where I’ve picked something up that I haven’t already seen on Instagram. Same goes for beauty – if I’m investing in a foundation, I want to know what it looks like. They don’t have to be biased, even if there is speculation some do, and that is the appeal for me. I think we need to stop and think about how much abuse these girls receive online by total strangers lashing out because of our insecurities and start addressing our own. Whether that be therapy, learning to love yourself etc, it can be done without trolling or comparing yourself to someone online.
What do you think about how influencers are treated, particularly young girls on Instagram? Do you think they have a moral duty to be role models and only flaunt affordable items or do you think as their profession and personal life, they have a right to do as they please given they are self-employed? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading.