‘Influencer’. I abhor that word.
Remember when American Vogue set the internet on fire a couple of months ago, dubbing bloggers the ‘”death of the style”? Well I do, and it stung. Mostly because many of the people with whom these Vogue editors took issue with are not actually bloggers at all, but rather the dreaded ‘influencer’.
To me, bloggers and influencers are two completely different things. A blogger has a completely different skill set to those whose Insta-fame stems from social media, being snapped at high profile events, and subsequently being published in the glossy party pages of magazines. Bloggers, or rather, ‘digital content creators’, have spent years perfecting their art – whether that be photography, writing, styling, or all of the above. Bloggers spend hours and hours of their free time working on their website and building up their brand. Digital content creators are creative, dedicated, hard-working and hungry to learn, yet “blogger” is still something of a derogatory term in the fashion hierarchy, and why? Because these girls monetize their online presence? Because brands would rather put their budget towards paying bloggers to create content rather than magazines? Look at the likes of Huda Beauty, Song of Style and Sincerely Jules, who have all created fashion and beauty empires from starting a blog.
During my time working in digital marketing in Dubai, I’ve had the displeasure of working with a few of these ‘influencer’ types – girls who will charge you Dhs15k (yes, that’s 15,000 AED/ £3,200/ $4,000) for a couple of posts on Instagram. Posts they haven’t put any effort, creativity or thought into. They don’t style their own looks, they don’t scout for cool locations and backdrops, they don’t shoot it with their own camera, hell, they don’t even write their own bloody captions for Instagram!
This is exactly what I hope not to achieve when it comes to have a following on social media. I take great pride, pleasure and joy in the clothes I buy, the photos I shoot on my camera and the words I write; I put a lot of work into my blog simply because I enjoy it, and if any of that happens to ‘influence’ people, then cool! With more and more magazines and newspapers sadly closing their doors, the ‘blame’, as it were, seems to have been collectively put on bloggers and influencers.
You might be reading this thinking I’m throwing stones at glass houses, but the easiest way to explain myself is: a lot of bloggers can achieve ‘influencer’ status, but not all influencers can be bloggers.
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Dress: Beach City