I stopped trusting beauty influencers and community

I stopped trusting beauty influencers and community

Beauty and fashion, probably two of the most profitable social media profession today other than being a food blogger. Whether it’s to share the love of mutual interests or to turn hobby and passion into a day job, we live in the era where people can be a salesperson in the comfort of their home. And we adore that. We adore that because we enjoy seeing things that resonate with us. Unspoken connection through mutual interest is something we most likely enjoy as human beings. The beginning of it was fun and games, until everything becomes so easily monetized like it is today. So what happens when things no longer feel genuine? What happens when they are no longer relatable? Are we, the audience, getting bored or are things becoming too much of a business?

I found a good article on Medium explaining why people today believe so much in influencers. The article, written by Ruthie Nathan who’s an intern and University of Texas student, states that the reasons we spend so much time boosting the abundance of influencer marketing are as follows: we want to be entertained, inspired and challenged but most of all, we want to relate. We don’t just watch or follow channels or people blindly. We choose the people, the ‘influencers’ we enjoy watching; the people who make us feel like we’re in the same room with them and that we are their friends. Of course, it’s not like all of us are going to meet or befriend them physically in real life but that’s alright because I mean, they consider their followers ‘friends’, right? Why else would they constantly put on such a notorious disclaimer saying “if it weren’t for you guys, I wouldn’t have made it this far” if they aren't being real with us?

Whether you are a realist or an idealist who think money isn't everything, human lives revolve around money. They call it capitalism. With capitalism comes power and with power comes greed. Things like affiliation codes, brand collaborations or partnerships and sponsorships feed the pockets of these influencers, giving them possibilities of luxury brand trips to Bora Bora. As time goes on, influencers have since then evolved into social media celebrities and media brands, promoting brands and shoving them down our throat as salespeople. Instead of treating their channels as a way to communicate with the audience honestly, these channels are gateways to gaining views, recognition and brand sponsorships.

The thing is, as audience, we want disclosures. The job of an influencer is just like any other job, only slightly easier because you're doing it at home, like a freelancer. We respect that, we understand that. Get your coins, beauty channels, we don't mind. What we mind is when things start getting shady or when we, the audience, discover some loopholes and they start making stupid excuses.

I personally believe that influencers should get their coins. But, at the same time, not all of them are able to maintain authenticity. Of course, they could create drama by uploading videos entitled "My Truth" (which is currently trending, by the way) and say that their subscribers is everything to them and that they would never lie. But this is basically a plague on Youtube, earning it the term "PR Apology 101." As an avid youtube watcher and someone who have been watching beauty channels and influencers, I can attest that the current state of said community is currently drowning in murky water and people are slowly watching beauty videos to find hidden clues to expose influencers, not to enjoy them.

We think originality is tough to do these days but we forget that authenticity is a lot harder to maintain. I don’t blame influencers who stopped being relatable. I thought, maybe I just grew out of them and that’s a-okay. No hard feelings. I also don’t blame major or minor influencers who shade each other, throw in some internet cat fights, go on a snapchat rant saying “I’m not going to drop any names” and then rage like mad baboons by screaming in front of their camera. i also don’t care about minor channels who purposefully give out bad or good reviews just to appeal to brands or jump into the “let’s hate this popular thing” bandwagon. In the end, it’s all for the drama and let’s get real, drama is profit and profit is good news.

So, what now?

Frankly speaking, it's not like I'm going to stop watching beauty channels on Youtube. They're my favorite things to watch and read about, next to true crime, conspiracy theories and paranormal things of course. I won't lie, some beauty channels are very therapeutic and I consider them one of the real ones. People like Kathleenlights and Lisa Eldridge (she's obviously not a social media influencer though — she's a true gem, an international makeup artist) are reasons why I still watch beauty videos. It's people like them who make me feel a little bit of truth and authenticity in this community even if it's like trying to find needles among haystacks. Other than those two, I honestly don't know anyone else who'd make me feel like I could hear them talking about socks for 10 hours straight if it needs to be. Of course, I'm solely speaking about the beauty community and beauty influencers and not necessarily the entire Youtube because when it comes to the general Youtube community, I still have a few channels I'm in love with — for instance, Lucy Moon, Kat Napiorkowska, Arden Rose and more.

That said, I don't want anyone to think I'm shitting on beauty influencers. I'm not. Rather, it's more about how the community is now filled with liars, fake wannabes, social media cat fights and undisclosed advertisements, treating us audience and subscribers as business clients. The audience didn't sign up for a salesperson who uploads three to five times a week to force feed a brand down our throat just because they have a discount code or a collaboration. To modify Rihanna's words, this isn't what we came for.