Ah, influencers. We love watching videos of them trying on make-up and skincare products that would land us in debt. They parade around with their Gucci accessories and Christian Louboutin heels on Instagram. We watch in awe as travel influencers are paid to model beachwear in Santorini, Hawaii and Thailand. We coo over their £3000 designer dogs and their £1 million pent house.
We are given false expectations of parenthood. Only a “good mother” makes every meal from scratch with organic ingredients. Only a “good mother” deprives their children of sugar. Only a “good mother” has an Etsy store and can work from home. Only a “good mother” can attend every ballet class and football match. Only a “good mother” radiates positivity all the time.
It’s so unfair that they are paid to promote stuff whilst we mere mortals are constantly worried about money because everything requires money.
There are many things that bother me about popular influencers. These range from things that a bit petty and trivial, to potentially life threatening. Here are my top pet peeves that influencers are guilty of doing, from “so-so” to absolutely horrifying.
6) Five minute video intros
There are a ridiculous amount of YouTubers, especially those with make-up or lifestyle channels, that spend about five minutes just talking about things that are totally unrelated to the rest of the video. They will usually dive into some “embarrassing” anecdote. Or they will say “oh I haven’t washed my hair so I pulled it up into this cute messy bun haha I am so relatable.”
It’s not cute. It’s not funny. It’s boring. Now get on with what the title of the video is about.
5) Public arguments
The beauty community in particular relies on drama as much as they do on Botox. It makes them stay “relevant” and gives them a sudden boost in followers. There are many “drama channels” out there that feed on scandal and drama like vultures. The quicker you make a video or blog post, the more views, likes and subscribers you will gain. On the contrary, the influencer that is being “outed” on social media will lose subscribers and their reputation is damaged. In today’s “cancel culture” it is so easy to point the blame before knowing the full story.
Disagreements should be settled in private. Grow up.
4) Overly political
I honestly think that influencers, whether that be vloggers/bloggers or famous people (i.e. actresses, novelists and singers), should refrain from making overly political remarks. Democracy, tolerance and freedom of speech are amazing things that only some cultures practice. However, many influencers share their political views which not only divides their fan base, but also encourages people to be judgemental and nasty to those that do not share these beliefs. Thank your lucky stars that you do not live in a communist or fascist state.
3) Not disclosing sponsorships/free PR products
If you haven’t watched BBC’s Panorama episode about influencers and social media then you really should because it is such an eye opener. It is illegal in the UK to not disclose if a post is sponsored, but many American influencers often get away with it. Their opinions on a product(s) will, more likely than not, be biased. If they are being paid to promote something then of course they won’t want to give the brand or service paying them a negative review. They are misleading their viewers and that is NOT right. I also think that an influencer should mention if the product they are promoting was gifted from a brand, including PR. It is unethical and influencers should be more transparent.
2) Inaccurate skincare advice
I only trust the advice of dermatologists with accredited degrees in medicine and dermatology when it comes to deciding on what is safe for my skin. I am not a dermatologist but I do lots and I mean lots of research before I write an article. As an NCTJ accredited journalist, I know just how important it is to report facts. Research – and knowing how to find credible sources – is so important. I don’t want to mislead or misinform my readers!
However, many beauty gurus will claim that certain skincare ingredients are good and bad without credible sources and double blind scientific studies to back up their claims. I also dislike influencers that insist that a certain skincare product has transformed their skin… when they have only been using said product for less than two months. Also, how do they know if a product has improved their skin if they have been using it alongside other new products? Most beauty gurus are ill informed about skincare ingredients and are ignorant to how to incorporate them into their skincare routine. Be very wary about their “advice.”
Which leads me onto…
1) Inaccurate health advice
Lifestyle vloggers and bloggers’ “Things I Eat In a Day” blog posts/videos are horrendous. Their diets usually don’t contain enough calories for their height and lifestyle and they give those with eating disorders an inaccurate insight into what a “healthy” diet looks like. The worst blogs/videos/Instagram photos are the ones that promote a dieting aid of some sort, usually a “detox” tea or appetite suppressants.
Another thing I hate are influencers that insist that a vitamin has transformed their life and they can see huge improvements to their skin, hair or even their mental health. It takes months to see or feel visible results from a vitamin supplement. James Charles recently promoted Sugar Bear Gummies and claimed that the vitamins had improved his anxiety. This disgusted me because he has a very young fan base and many of them probably suffer from anxiety. It is so irresponsible for the boy to make such ridiculous claims, especially as he probably hadn’t been taking these vitamins for long.
It’s horrific that many of these influencers have a young following and are exposing such an easily influenced group of individuals to inaccurate diet advice that could not only harm their developing bodies and brains, but also encourage body dysmorphia and unhealthy perceptions of what is being dubbed as “healthy.”
So, what do you think? Let me know in the comments if you agree with any of these or if there are things that I haven’t mentioned.
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Until next time,