The Influencer Effect: Why our Wardrobes still aren’t Enough
Girl, what is the influencer effect?
The influencer effect, what is it? It seems everyone is striving to be an influencer these days. Someone who makes top dolla from posting Insta-fabulous images and having brunch. With the recent furore in the Irish blogging industry on everyone's lips (Bloggers Unveiled, The White Moose Café, The Make-Up Fairy et al), it's time we unpick what impact the influencer effect is having on our lives. The influencer effect is this notion we get after hours of mindless scrolling. The feeling we get that everything we own just isn’t good enough. Nor are we attractive enough.
“My wardrobe isn’t as big as theirs”
“My outfits never look like that” Sound familiar?
During my mid teenage years I fell hook, line and sinker for the influencer effect. And the scary thing is that I had no idea it was even happening. This was back in the day when they were just regular people in front of a camera. Before the term influencer was used full stop, never mind as a legitimate job. We never felt that we were being sold to. As a result, I ended up with bags of makeup and products that were being raved about daily on all the top blogs. The constant exposure instilled a major case of FOMO. Was I going to miss something if I didn’t investigate whether the latest drugstore launch was the “best yet”? Looking back - NO. NOT AT ALL. I can only look back and think “why”! I wasn’t even allowed to wear makeup to my strict school. I have a chronic case of baby face and always looked like a child that had snuck into her mum’s makeup bag if I dared to try a red lip. I’ll never understand how I managed to justify all the unworn statement lipsticks that lay dormant for years. After a recent clear out I’ve honestly never felt so horrified at the amount of money I wasted on carrier bags full of barely used products.
Fast forward about seven years and we’re all still falling for the same trick. Luckily we are much more wary of paid product placements since the ASA’s stricter rules were introduced in 2014. It sees that all paid placements are clearly disclosed to consumers. Although most of us are pretty confident that no charcoal toothpaste is good enough for hundreds of people to sit down and make an unpaid video about it.
But what about the subtle brand exposure. The stunning outfits we see on our favourite instagrammers that give us that familiar itch to go out and shop. Update everything. Buy expensive brands. It makes us feel like our already overflowing wardrobe is suddenly deemed worthless. The heat of the moment combined with that endorphin rush after a purchase can be a dangerous combination. We fail to stop and analyse whether we need that item, or sometimes if we actually even like it as much as we convince ourselves.
We fail to see how wasteful our actions can be. The purchases often ending up in the bin after a single wear. The fast fashion trends are deemed “out” faster than we can keep up. And that’s the core of the problem, fashion has become about keeping up rather than creating your own classic style.
What can we do about it?
The key is to try and bring all these naturally subconscious thoughts back into the conscious. Try and identify when you’re being sold to. Tell yourself you already have something similar. Find out if it’s something you want deep down for the right reasons, not because everyone else has it. In a society where free speech and thought is so important to us, we must look at whether we are thinking independently as much as we believe. Are we all unintentionally turning into sheep with the worlds new “must have” mindset?