If you’re as avid of a social media user as I am, you know that when scrolling on TikTok or Instagram, coming across influencer content is completely unavoidable. They’re the face of your favorite brands, getting invited to the biggest events, and get paid thousands to sit in front of a tri-pod and film content.
In the least creepy way possible, I am infatuated with the rise of influencers. In some ways, I can’t fathom how normal people can suddenly go viral, eventually get sought out by brands, and get sent free gifts and PR packages in exchange for looking pretty, acting relatable, and uploading content. In some ways, I totally envy these influencers. I wish I could be making six-figures doing the same things they are. However, I can’t help but criticize the entire ordeal.
The whole point of influencers is to seem relatable. Whether they’re filming a “realistic” morning in my life, or being paid to promote some skincare product you’ll probably never use again, their ultimate end goal is to seem like they’re just a normal girl filming videos in their bedroom.
Unfortunately, I think we’ve hit a point where a majority of our favorite influencers aren’t truly relatable anymore. And to some extent, I think a lot of influencers try a little too hard to seem “relatable.” How can we compare ourselves to these young women in their twenties who are supposed to be like us, but instead will comfortably drop $10,000 on pit tickets to a Harry Styles concert? I don’t even have half of that in my bank account!
I’ve grown up seeing some of my favorite YouTubers grow into influencers because of their rising popularity, and it’s such a bittersweet thing. In some ways, how could I not feel proud? But at the same time, I can’t help but feel sad that a lot of these once-relatable women are now living a lifestyle that so many of us could only dream about. And the saddest thing is, I don’t think a lot of them realize it either. When I hear an influencer wishing they could work a “normal” 9-5 job instead of living their lifestyle, I can only sigh.
As someone who wants to pursue a career in Marketing & Social Media, I am a firm believer that our generation is going to shift the weight away from these influencers. While I do think they’ll always be a resource for brands, I think the expectations are going to be different. They’re going to be held more accountable for their tone deafness. Maybe brands will actually try to use “realistic” influencers that accurately represent their client bases. I only hope that these thoughts become a reality, especially when my own children might use social media someday.