Meet the girls changing influencer culture

How these social media stars are putting pay to the typical ‘insta-influencer’.

There’s no doubt we’re living in the influencer era. Our social media feeds are littered with influencers trying to promote yet another service or product on the daily. And the biggest culprit? Undoubtedly, Instagram. It has become a goldmine for brands to advertise and advocate through high-followed profiles, in the hope of attracting consumers and increasing purchases.

Each of our timelines seem to be flooded with young individuals posing in slinky fashion pieces, dishing out the discount codes. And yet, we don’t seem to question it.

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The Classic

If you keep up with anything Love Island (which let’s face it most of us do) you’ll not be surprised to hear that the ex-islander is the number one culprit for forming the prime influencer stereotype. It’s thanks to them we have not only normalised but encouraged the sales of fast fashion and unethical beauty. Boohoo and Pretty Little Thing are the UK’s most advertised brands on Instagram. Their appeal breeds off of the motto: cheap yet modern. Both are attractive prospects to us. But their morals and values are suffocating the globe in midst of unethical smoke.

2019 runner-up Molly-Mae Hague has regularly been working with Pretty Little Thing since leaving the villa. 

Fellow islander Maura Higgins has had various BooHoo brand deals.

2019 winner Amber Rose Gill has even bagged herself a Miss Pap partnership.

The Rebellion

Whilst many are encouraged by the typical influencer behaviour, aspiring to build a personal following and shedding morals along the way, there finally seems to be an uprising. A new generation are crashing onto the scene, causing a much-needed stir in the industry.

Seeing the platform as a way to promote an ethical and eco-friendly lifestyle, Ruby Isabella uses her profile to advocate vegan brands. “Promoting a moral and sustainable brand is one of the most important things to me in terms of my creative work”. With 10.5k followers, Ruby commits herself to working with only sustainable companies. The 23-year-old admits that she regularly declines deals; when “they do not correlate with what I believe in when it comes to fabrics and ethics” the deal will be rejected. With continuing work with brands such as Koi Footwear-which is completely vegan- she has stated “I hope to be one of the influencers changing the perception of fast fashion and throw away culture.”

“I hope to be one of the influencers changing the perception of fast fashion and throw away culture.”

Despite being an avid fashion follower and makeup fanatic, Poppy Linehan has proved that we can indeed fully embrace the fashion industry from an eco-standpoint. With nearly 6k followers, she informs her audience of the latest vegan beauty products and fashion pieces. Shunning influencer-clichés, Poppy has expressed her passion to work with cruelty-free brands. As a proud and frequent advertiser of Sunkissed- a fake tan brand free of animal testing- she is showing us that we can actually enjoy twenty-first century trends without injuring the planet. She states, “I have got rid of clothing, makeup, shoes and haircare due to them not being vegan”. Documenting her bold moves on her Instagram, she hopes to encourage her followers to do the same. “Being able to help and educate others on the vegan lifestyle is important to me”- using a following to promote important and current environment issues is imperative and needed within the industry.

“Being able to help and educate others on the vegan lifestyle is important to me.”

As well as the promotion of unethical products the standard 2019 Insta-influencer is guilty of another detrimental habit. Promotion of unethical body standards.

Amy Barry uses her 8k following as a way to create a community that can enjoy the fashion and beauty industry without the harmful, unrealistic standards being set. “It’s important to engage with the audience and understand them and their needs”. Amy has rejected numerous brand deals in an effort to meet the wants and needs of her followers. She was approached by Skinny Coffee Club in 2018 however stated that working with them would not be fair nor fit with her audience demands. She is continually trying to use her platform to create an environment that enables everyone to discuss the latest fashion and beauty trends, without unneeded stereotypes and stigmas attached.

“It’s important to engage with the audience and understand them and their needs.”

Understanding The Impact

Whether we think so or not, the brands influencers advertise do make a difference.

(All statistics provided by Starngage)

Looking Forward

It’s uncertain to say where the ‘Insta-influencer’ will end up. Whether the industry persists with its damaging morals and guidelines, or whether we will see an impactful rebellion of the aspiring social stars.

With these young girls setting an (admittedly small) but significant movement, perhaps we can see the damaging culture of Instagram influencing corrupted. The small changes created may eventually find themselves on the feeds of future Love-Islanders? Only one can hope.

Find the girls here:

Ruby Isabella: @_sunfl0werseed

Amy: @amybarry.xo

Poppy: @poppylinehanx

Let us know what brands you see advertised most by your favourite influencers below!

Words by: Peri Taskiran

Featured image by: Unsplash

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