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Just Say It: You Hate Influencers Because They’re Women

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“Did you know that starting a blog would turn into this? Did you have any idea that you could do all of this?!” my cousin asked waving his hands around while sitting in my dining room. I paused, knowing what I would say next could be interpreted as rude, looked up and said “Yeah. I did.”

Nobody wants that answer. People want to think that women making money off of social media is something most people just happen into. You start posting some pics and one day something goes viral and voila you’re a social media star! It’s charming. It’s disarming and relatable. And we love that about women, don’t we?

This week Vogue Arabia posted an article about influencers sparking their own downfall, and it’s just another article in a long line or media that is anti-influencer. Time and time again I find myself asking, why do people hate influencers? What is it about people successfully marketing on social media that is making everyone so angry?

It’s no secret that women are dominating the social media world. Media outlets have even called it the “One Profession Where Women Can Earn More Than Men”. And it’s also no surprise that this is where this article is going to dive deep into the intense sexism and misogyny around why the profession is so hated. Because if it were a bunch of men creating money out of only a mirror and a camera the world would look at them and say “wow what ingenuity!” or “look at what these young entrepreneurs did without a college degree!”.

Meanwhile, when young femmes are creating fortunes they are considered vapid or self-obsessed. The vogue article takes a stab at influencers when the author states “as I have observed, vanity and dependency reach a point that an influencer cannot even function at an industry dinner without compulsively monitoring the likes rise on her ‘gram”. Let me be very delicate when I say this because God forbid anyone think I’m being irrational – do you know what we would call a man who was obsessively overlooking their business numbers? Their sales? Do you think we would call them vain or dependent? No, no the fuck we would not. We would call them hard working, dedicated, savvy. At worst we would call them a workaholic.

Until now we’ve been taught that we have to tap into our masculine side to succeed. Women have found a way to do well in an industry where connection and authenticity is valued. We’ve created an outlet where we don’t have to play by men’s rules to become successful, make money, and live our dreams. It takes skill to connect with an audience and build loyalty. It takes focus and drive to maintain the creativity required to keep people engaged.

Over the last several years women across genres, across platforms, have been able to mobilize their audiences into communities. Communities that get shit done. Communities that lead trends, create change in the marketplace, and connect other community members with valuable resources. We don’t have to play by the traditional rules anymore. We can create the work life that we envision, a work life that is wildly profitable and rewarding.

Are there issues within the influencer communities? Of course there are. All industries come with unique sets of challenges and this industry is brand new! Do we have some massive talks about capitalism that need to be addressed? YEAH! We’re learning, we’re growing, and we’re figuring out how to become more effective. But make no mistake, we are not going anywhere. And we will not be the downfall of our own industry. We are strong. We are skilled. We are adaptable.

So to the next anti-influencer journalist who’s just dying to let their internalized misogyny out, consider this – maybe you just don’t like women?

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Tuesday 10th of October 2023

hello! i came across this when researching for a final project, and i was honestly so surprised at how much i can relate to this post!!!! women in social media are constantly being brought down for posting their journey, their interests, and just posting what makes them feel good about themselves/their image! if you see a man posting ab pics in the gym, the worst you will think is "dang, what a show off". but if you see a woman posting something like that, there will be a flow of comments about "she's body checking us" or "we get it, you work out". as a 19 year old college athlete, this happens to the sports at my university so often. i often have a dream of posting my interests in cute little posts on Instagram and tiktok, and reading this article gave me a surge of motivation that i didn't think i could get from anything else. this was such an inspirational post. i know I'm a little late to the game (2018 compared to 2023, oops), but i still wanted to comment to let you and others know that this post is the most accurate. in 2018 and now. thank you for this :)


Wednesday 8th of April 2020

Loved this ot totally resonated. Thsnk you

Whitney B

Wednesday 18th of March 2020

Buckle up, because I have thoughts and feelingson this topic that have been keeping me up since I stumbled on this blog post. Also know that I mean no disrespect, not criticizing. I'm not a blogger or influencer or anything close.

I don't think it has to do with the influencers being women. I'm a fat woman who follows a handful of fat/plus size/body inclusive female influencers. At first it was nice to see these women living a life that was relatable to my own and seeing them not only succeed but unapologetically THRIVE. It was nice to hear that other fat women held similar opinions of society or had some of the same life experiences. I felt inspired. I felt justified in my very existence. For the first time I felt like my views of the world as a fat woman had merit and there wasn't anything wrong with me or my life. I felt like maybe there was a safe space where I could exist and feel unjudged for being my fat self.

I learned about thin-privilege and body neutrality as a way to overcome body dysmorphia and that I wasn't alone in my years of internal dialogue about such things. I felt a kindred sort of connection to these women that made me feel like I was capable of achieving better things for myself. But eventually one too many posts or stories would come along where these strong, beautiful women were all too obviously shilling for some product or another. And this is where my disenchantment with Instagram influencers began.

I'm not naive, I understand this is how the gig works. But it felt like my new mentors/friends were taking advantage of me, and taking advantage of the women who might have been pulled in for the same self affirming and therapeutic reasons that I was. I've worked in marketing, I know the theories behind the whys and whens of ad placement. I understand the psychology of selling a lifestyle and identity conveyed in one succinct image loaded with symbolism. I began to resent being sold to in this newly found safe space.

I was turned off by being asked to follow other accounts with the aim to get another woman to influencer status so she could "earn a decent income". I started to question the power that these women held over a massive audience and the ways in which they chose to wield it. Sure, these plus size female influencers might be preaching body positivity and inclusion, which are great messages to hear, but they're also selling an Instagram lifestyle promoting consumption of material goods that (intentionally or not) is increasingly tied to a person's worth in our shallow society


Friday 3rd of April 2020

I agree with you for sure. When writing this article it was definitely targeted at society as a whole and not the plus size community. I think within the fat community there stands a lot to be critiqued about how we profit off of "followers" and the ethics behind that. I have always maintained that I am a resource for people and that's why I shy away from sponsorships on social media and prefer to make my money via my blog - because then I'm not saying BUY THIS, I'm saying "here's what's our there if you're looking". It's a difficult line to walk and all the points you made are very valid.

Saima Nisbet

Monday 16th of March 2020

She's got a point. I love the community aspect and the women led factor is brilliant. That's only one aspect though, there is a great deal of vapid content on social media and some influencers behave badly, inspiring bad behaviour in others too. The market is saturated. The backlash is due to many factors such as that, not necessarily only misogyny.


Thursday 2nd of August 2018

Omg i am so i love with your attitude and how beautiful you are I am From Bosnia i have 30 years I am fat Here in Bosnia is very ashamed to be fat,everyone is making joke about me. We can not buy in Bosnia a plus size clothes, We are poor country and people are very rude to me

I just want to si hi and im happy to read your stories Best wishes to you Im so in love with your clothes I dream to hawe it one day


Sunday 5th of August 2018

Thank you for reading!!!! I'm so sorry that people are rude to you.