Her Instagram account is perfectly crafted with aesthetic filters. Her photos showcase her lavish apparel and accessories. Every other picture has the location tagged from many exotic vacations. This gorgeous jetsetter is a lifestyle influencer. Many millennials look to her as ‘#goals.’
It was the summer of 2015 and I would soon begin college. I scrolled through Google researching everything I needed to know about my freshman year. A video by a young woman around 22 caught my eye.
I watched the entirety of her video where she gave tips on how to adapt to the world of college. The end of her video led to her Instagram account. Without hesitation, I clicked the follow button. Scrolling through her feed was mesmerizing. I admired her fashion and traveling adventures.
Flashforward to three years later and I am still a dedicated follower of hers. Lifestyle influencers have a way of letting each of their followers feel like they are really friends with them. I have watched her share an apartment with her best friend, graduate with her bachelor’s degree and move to Nashville, TN.
One day I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I saw her pose for a photo with six other influencers. They all looked so perfectly made up that for an instance, the photo came across as being fabricated. Many influencers try to trick their followers into thinking ‘they woke up like this.’ In reality, this is not the case.
Lifestyle influencers seem to lead luxurious lives but it is not all glitz and glamour. Like 90 percent of women’s publications today, these influencers put in an immense amount of time and effort to establish themselves as a brand.
That led me to ponder why myself and so many other young adults follow them. In the age of social media, these lifestyle influencers have finally found a place for themselves to thrive. Most of what they post on their feed seems harmless enough but can have negative influences on an impressionable audience.
The main thing that I dislike about lifestyle influencers is their lifestyle. I know this sounds contradictory to my previous statement, but hear me out.
Many of them lead unrelatable lives. They start their morning by applying cosmetics for upwards of an hour. While there is nothing wrong with wearing makeup for a quick boost of confidence, it becomes a problem when they feel as if they have to wear it to increase the likes on their posts.
Next, they grab a $5 latte and $10 avocado toast from the hip coffeehouse downtown. They have their entourage take a photo of them showing off their food porn. A high number of their followers simply cannot afford to go out and spend $15 on breakfast. It is not required that you go to the places they eat, but there seems to be a pressure for even those with lower paychecks to fit in with this type of lifestyle.
This brings me to the biggest pet peeve I have about them: Lifestyle influencers have 100,000+ followers so they are often recruited by companies to advertise products for them. Most of the products I have seen advertised are gummy vitamins for hair growth, charcoal teeth whitening toothpaste and facial cleansing products. I understand that these influencers have to make a living and it is a smart marketing move on their part to accept these offers. What irks me is the fact that so many of them do not even use the product. The majority of these products seem to be gimmicks that do not help the user.
These girls have almost a cult-like following. Some people subscribe to them because that is what they aspire to be like- They want to have the amenities that come with being an influencer.
Others know they could never attain that level of fame so they instead choose to live vicariously through them, myself included. The thought of creating a lifestyle blog crosses my mind but I could never deal with the amount of pressure to keep up an impeccable persona. Instead, I enjoy others content from afar.
Being a lifestyle influencer does have its perks. Play your cards right and you can become one of these girls. You can earn a livable wage with endorsement all the while living your life experiencing things you would never be able to do if you were not put into this position.
As Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben once stated: “with great power comes great responsibility.” Being a lifestyle influencer is not a negative thing at all. It is important that these women stick to their authentic selves and be positive role models for these teens and young adults. After all, their job description is in the title.