We are 10 days into 2022 and have already seen two major influencers in the UK be ridiculed across social media for problematic comments they have made. In the past, audiences have worshiped everything influencers do and say, with some people moulding their lives off the blueprints set by influencers. However, as social media becomes more integrated into everyday life, and audiences have more power, it seems that they are less forgiving when it comes to influencers mistakes. It leaves me wondering whether influencers will be left behind in 2022.
If you have a twitter account, I’m sure you have seen the comments Molly-Mae made on the ‘Diary of a CEO’ podcast back in December which have gained mass publicity this week. On the podcast she said, “we all have the 24 hours in a day” and that it is “just depends on what lengths you wanna go to, to get where you wanna be in the future”. Whilst what she is saying is correct, we all have the same hours in a day, she fails to recognise her own privilege having firstly grown up in a comfortable financial situation, and then gaining a following off the back of Love Island. Whilst she did have a sizeable following before going on Love Island, it’s reasonable to say that if she didn’t go on the show, she would be nowhere near where she is now.
Molly-Mae is undoubtedly the most successful person to come out of Love Island, and it’s clear she has worked hard to gain positions which no one else has before. However, if she wasn’t an attractive blonde young woman would she be in the same position? I think for many of her audience, me included, to hear her talk about how she has “worked her ass off” to get where she is falls on deaf ears. I think for her to claim her success has been achieved by hard work alone brings down the value of work put in by so many people across the country, especially in the past couple of years throughout the pandemic.
In 2021, she was announced as the creative director of PLT, a position which someone would typically need a degree and years of experience in the industry to work up to. For Molly-Mae to achieve this position at 22, within 2 years of being on Love Island it is incredible but having gone through university myself I can understand sympathise with those who have studied hard and put in years of work to be recognised at the same level as her. She clearly has an astute understanding of her audience and an unmatched ability to reach them, which is very valuable to brands, hence her being in such high demand. However, this being said, I think many young people who use social media have the same understanding of audiences.
As someone with 6.2 million followers on Instagram, and such huge success at a young age, it’s understandable how she doesn’t understand her privilege. However, in the same vein, someone with such a sizeable following should know that their audience aren’t in the same position as her and for many their dreams may be unattainable due to the commitments, they have day to day. It’s not sensible to suggest that everyone is in the position to chase their dreams and reach the same levels of financial success as her and it's simply incorrect.