It’s no secret that the last year has been hard for pretty much everyone. Lockdowns, restrictions, fear, furlough – more people than ever are relying on food banks for their food, and some people have been unable to see their families for over a year. And yet, during this trying time, as a country we have come together.
Why are influencers losing followers?
We’ve become accustomed to days full of banana bread, Joe Wicks’ PE and 8 pm claps for the NHS. However, one thing that makes this national unity feel pointless, is seeing people jet off around the world. In the second half of last year, we saw many influencers carting off to places like Dubai to work, leaving the rest of us here unable to go anywhere but Big Tesco.
This scandal saw big influencers like Amber Gill lose over 15k followers, as people got fed up of the poolside snaps whilst they were confined to their homes. It also saw Sheridan Mordew reveal on This Morning that she thought of influencers as ‘key workers’. This statement angered many people, seeing a girl enjoy herself on holiday comparing her life to those of the NHS heroes and shop workers who had spent the last 9 months working tirelessly.
Dubai is one, but not the only, reason that people are starting to think that the age of the influencer is over. Some people have unfollowed influencers like Molly-Mae and Chloe Veitch due to their lack of social awareness. Plenty of Instagram influencers are advertising weight loss programmes in a time when food banks are overwhelmed, are doing Pretty Little Thing haul after haul, despite the recent information about fast fashion and how it damages the planet. Other influencers are posting pictures and preaching about productivity, in a time when the nation’s mental health is worse than it’s ever been.
With all of this in mind, it’s really no surprise that such influencers are losing followers.
But does that mean the end of influencers?
We don’t think so. Influencers, in some form, have been around forever. They’ve just not always had such an easy platform, and haven’t labelled themselves as such. But if you look back to the 1990s and Jennifer Anniston’s “Rachel” hairstyle or even the Disney stars people watched as kids – we all wanted to look like them. You can even see it with the Jesus bracelets you could have found in Claire’s Accessories after the Twilight films came out because Bella had influenced young girls across the world.
So whilst there may be a shift happening, influencers are far from dead. In fact, if you look at Instagram followings through the pandemic, influencers like Dr Alex, Gina Martin and other positive, socially aware people, have gained followers. It looks like rather than influencers dying out, people are just choosing to follow a more culturally aware, positive range of people. Whether that’s body-positive influencers instead of weight-loss, activists, or mental health advocates.
In short: the age of the influencer isn’t over, but the age of positivity is just beginning.