The Toxicity of Influencer Culture

The average American throws away 65 pounds of clothing per year. There is this constant urge for MORE and NEW where it just becomes an endless cycle of overconsumption. And with the age of social media & influencers, this trend isn’t leaving us anytime soon.

If I was younger in this generation, I’d be a complete mess. With items being just a click away & a saturated amount of photos & videos depicting these “so called perfect lives” at your finger tips, how isn’t this lifestyle affecting people’s wellbeing?

Sometimes I miss the 90’s because to me, the pre-digital age was simple. Children still went outside to play. Now parents have to monitor screen time. People’s lives were a bit more mysterious & your past didn’t follow you as easily.

The world of technology, although is quite convenient; it can also cause a burden in the comparison battle.

Even at the age I am now, & a few years ago I would get sucked in feeling like I wanted & needed certain products to make me happy. The picture perfect life society shows online, is nothing compared to their reality. And even with this knowledge, I was quickly consumed by those worlds. Deleting my Instagram in 2016 was the best decision I ever made.

The thing that got me the most, besides the illustrated depiction of success, was the overexposed advertisements. Influencers would post a picture of themselves in an outfit against a bright pink wall & every inch of the image would have affiliate links to brands & companies.

And no, I’m not saying sponsored content is dumb & unnecessary. It’s a way to make a living. You can’t deny this. But you can’t just sit around oblivious to the fact it’s affecting the viewers decisions. Especially, these younger viewers.

I believe influencers of all platforms should keep in mind what they are promoting to their followers. They are role models after all. People trust their opinions whole heartedly. So they better really enjoy what they promote. I myself have purchased most of my makeup products on the sole fact someone [a beauty guru] recommended it.

Back in college I actually wrote a piece about how beauty influencers on YouTube negatively affect our youth. And I still find it holds a lot of truth. “Buy this makeup product, because it will enhance your beauty.” I don’t care how aware teens are about advertisement ploys & gimmicks, they still buy these products don’t they?

No wonder you have people struggling with self esteem, body image & depression. But that’s a topic for another day.

The point is, influencers push product from left to right. And it’s never enough. There will always be a new product to try or a new trend to pull off, with the majority of these products being rather luxurious & designer. Not to mention the amount of money wasted on said products. The average person can’t be dropping thousands of dollars on designer bags & clothing. But the Influencer makes it seem feasible. When most of the time, these men & women get sent these items for FREE! The change needs to come from us viewers where we say enough is enough.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sale from time to time. The Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale for example is a favorite of mine. And Sephora’s VIB Sale? My debit card is already crying just thinking about it. But honestly, I’ve learned to put the wallet away. It’s not like anything truly different shows up on the racks. Oh boy another basic white tee! Another pair of black ankle boots! How original. And how many lipsticks does one person really need?!

For some reason when a basic girl looks out her window & notices a leaf has fallen from a tree [a sign fall season is approaching] another pair of boots or a sweater needs to be added to the wardrobe. Even though she knows she owns 10 sweaters already.

And believe me, I was that girl. Before I discovered minimalism, I thought I needed all these material items to be happy & successful. I still love fashion & expressing myself through makeup looks & outfits. But I’m more mindful of my shopping habits. I’m not against owning expensive things or spending money. The key is to ask yourself if you truly need it?

Being a blogger myself may make me sound like a hypocrite because I talk about products & clothing pieces. But to me it’s more so the concepts I talk about that hold importance to me & the reader. When I talk about my wardrobe for example, I may talk about brands & stores but the main goal is to teach people they can be happy with less of it.

As a minimalist you don’t feel the need to buy certain things to make yourself feel whole. You should feel this way without anything. Picture yourself in an empty room with only yourself & your thoughts. How do you feel? If you feel empty, there’s a problem. Your objects shouldn’t define who you are.

I think as long as you take in consideration what these companies & influencers are aiming towards, which is fueling consumerism, you can take charge & alter your perspective. It all can just be way too much sometimes.

I’d rather have less things I really love over an abundance of items that are just ok. I don’t want to keep feeling the need to declutter & send bags of things to donation centers & landfills.

The world of social media & influencers has created this idea of “bragging” & “showing off” as an acceptable way of being. And although it’s good to feel proud of what you have & accomplished, I think apps like Instagram has ruined that for people.

Instead of selling an image that is desirable, how about just live it? There’s so much wishing & wanting in this life. But nobody wants to actually get up off their phones & do it themselves.

⁃ B 🌿

51 thoughts on “The Toxicity of Influencer Culture

  1. This is a great post. I can really relate to and I’m going to share it. I’m wary of brands, their culture and prices. I only help promote what I believe to be good and affordable. I don’t like and I never think of myself as an influencer because I’m not here on earth to influence anyone… just to live and potentially inspire others to live their lives on their own terms too. There’s a lot of food for thought in this blog, thanks! Xx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi! I’d just like to say that I feel this way too. Being a teenager myself I struggled with “keeping up with trends,” and it made me feel like I have to buy stuff that other people are also buying. For one thing, it’s bad for the environment because I’m wasting my resources on stuff I don’t need, and for another thing, it affected my mentality because I felt like I was “forced to fit in” by being materialistic. With the rise of influencer culture, there’s also gonna be a rise in the amount of consumerism and that’s not good for everyone. There needs to be an awareness on this issue. However, I do have to say there has been some progress throughout the years such as the thrifting movement and zero – waste lifestyle promoted by some influencers, but nonetheless I think it comes down to the consumers’ action. But other than that, good post! I resonate with your perspective!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I agree with everything you said. There are a few influencers like in the minimalist community who post videos on owning less but mostly people are trying to sell so much product. Just be your own person and don’t feel like you need to own certain things to fit in. If you would like you can share the post, I’m sure other teens need to hear this message.

      Like

  3. Such a great post. I can totally 100% relate to this. I’ve been an Insta addict these past few years and so much of my buying has been influenced by what I see on there.

    This lockdown really put things in perspective for me and I’m trying to be more sustainable and a minimalist! I’ve also cut down on the time I spend on Insta.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Good morning my dear,

    Thank you for letting me know that you wrote this post.

    I am glad you deleted your Instagram account and that you have this level of self-awareness and emotional maturity. Our new generations are suffering and will suffer even more in the future because of a lack of education. If we look at restaurants, for example, entire families are touching their cell phones while eating. What kind of dynamic is this?

    Beyond the information that is provided nowadays because of social media usage, the problem resides on the way how dopamine and oxytocin are produced in our brain, leading us to addiction behavior. The notification of one message on Facebook messenger is a clear example of the rush we suffer in our brains with dopamine. The same happens with all that stuff on youtube around makeup and other channels. For example, there is now a new trend of people who coach victims of narcissistic abuse, but no one question if these coaches have professional credentials to help people. If they are mental health professionals, for example?

    I’m not using my Facebook account, and I don’t miss it at all because I got really tired with all the superficiality there. I used my Facebook to post music, the same kind of articles that I write here, and as you must imagine that’s a no no for Facebook.
    Anyway, and because I am from the psychology and education area, I am happy to see more people thinking alike and knowing the perils of social media usage.

    Keep going with your good work, I will post your article on my website soon.

    Wishing you a wonderful day 🙂

    Alexandra

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Alexandra. I love your psychological take on the topic. I too have a degree in psychology, so I appreciate the points you made. I still have a Facebook but don’t really use is it as much as I did. And for the blog I do use social media to promote it. But I see that as a business and marketing move that helps promote it. I still like taking pictures but don’t post every single one I take. I love having the memories for myself only. I love being a bit more old school. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are more than welcome!

        We need more self-awareness and education when it comes to human psychology, attachment styles, hormones, and educative relationship measures. I had a wonderful childhood surrounded by animals, nature, and my family. It was the best time of my life, and because of that, I want to give the same kind of education/freedom to my children.

        I never had Instagram, I don’t want Instagram, and I don’t advise anyone to use dating apps to find love. We all know examples of success, the vast majority of people that use dating apps. I believe they have attachment trauma, and so they can’t sustain intimate relationships. Dating after 30’s become a hard task exactly because our pool of choices tend to shrink. We have to be careful, and more than anything, be sure of what we want and who we are.

        To close my commentary, I should say that social media use a thing called algorithms to manipulate and control our brains through the production of high levels of dopamine.

        Have a wonderful day 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thankyou for writing this I feel like this is what everyone should realise, I’ve only just started my blog but I just want to put my honest opinions out there for others on the products I try, I’m not trying to be an influencer just having fun writing and doing something for me x

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Since we moved country so often I had to decide if it was worth paying for any article to be transported often thousands of miles. I did lose most of my possessions when my Ex fled one country (another story) but we moved from South Africa to Spain with 19 small cardboard boxes and 4 large suitcase. All our worldly wealth. It was an amazing feeling of freedom. I too am a minimalist. Sad if I feel I want to go and do a bit of retail therapy as there is nothing I really need! I’m also a hypocrite as I hunt feverishly for an influencer to show off my books!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am of a different generation. Fashions were important then too, but stuck around a little longer. And then they split, so that half the fashion gurus could be safely ignored. I married early by today’s standards and we were skint so fashion got pushed down the priority scale.

    This was before charity shops really got going (I love a charity shop). I hated to throw anything away. I still do. Label my wardrobe “vintage”.
    (Some of it has come back into fashion more than once. I never did like clingy clothes, which helps when you change shape with age.)

    One thing I love about now is that there is no pressure – or even desire – to follow this week’s fashion trend, colour, shape, fabric, lipstick (I never did like red lips on me anyway…). I wear what I like to wear.

    Nowadays, if I want to buy something, I can afford to. But habits of a lifetime tend to stick, and mine still suit me fine.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Love that you keep your vintage pieces. My nana was the same way, grew up with less than she did later in life so held onto everything. She appreciated things more because she grew up with little. Yes, I do love even though there are trends, people still do what they want with what they wear.
      Thanks for stopping by my page 🌿😊

      Liked by 1 person

  8. There are some great things about aging. For one thing, it brings wisdom and a greater perspective on life, just as you have enunciated here. I love that you have this awareness and brave enough to ditch Instagram. Minimalism is good for the environment and us. This is the most telling sentence: “There’s so much wishing & wanting in this life. But nobody wants to actually get up off their phones & do it themselves.”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thank you, mindbeautysimplicity, for a very meaningful post!

    My significant other suffers from environmental illness due to childhood exposure to DDT and to other pesticides over the years. He is subject to many symptoms from exposure to fragrances and pesticides…migraines that last for several days, sleep disorder, skin problems, sinus infections…and there is a long list of prescription drugs he cannot take.

    After 50 years of suffering, the yearly sinus infections are gone due to washing sinuses with a solution of salt and hydrogen peroxide, and the migraines are mostly gone thanks to vitamin B2 supplementation. Skin problems have responded to avoiding yeast and supplementing with flax oil.

    We use fragrance-free cleaning products and personal care products. Some other products we use: baking soda, borax, hydrogen peroxide. We use Terro and boric acid for insecticide. Outside, we kill weeds with vinegar and mold with bleach. We use glycerine and water solution as a moisturizer.

    We cook much of our food in an outdoor kitchen on the lanai and have a powerful exhaust fan for the foods we can cook inside. Our air conditioner has a charcoal filter with a high MERVE rating.

    Our lifestyle is pretty extreme by necessity. We think the artificial fragrances added to so many products and the ubiquitous use of toxic herbicides and pesticides will cause environmental illness for many more people in the future.
    Avoiding exposure to these toxic chemicals whenever possible may help prevent people from developing painful and limiting sensitivities. Do we really need artificial lavender fragrance in tire shine?

    Please continue to warn people about toxic chemicals. All the best! Cheryl

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the wonderful insight! I swear by B12 myself as it helps with stress levels. My boyfriend woke up with what he believes to be a kidney stone. We had no medications in the house for some reason and I told him to take a B12 as that was the only thing we had. And it helped him! Go figure!

      Liked by 1 person

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    Like

      1. Thank you! Even people my generation find social media overwhelming and not sure what’s it about….. luckily because I am extremely involved, it helps me to be able to communicate and exchange information with my children.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t think this is a new problem. Ever since someone invented advertising we have been brainwashed to believe we need the newest washing powder, margerine or sweater.

    But we are so used to advertising on tv, radio and homepages that we are not aware anymore that they are inly there to sell stuff not for our own good.

    It feels more i tense tjough with influencers because it feels more personal that the “usual” advertising which makes it more dangerous for us.

    But in the end, we have a choice: we do not need to follow the lead of others. We have something called “free will” and can buy as much ir as little as we want to but I am not sure how much many young people are aware of this.

    Brilliant post highlighting important issues. Thanks 🙋‍♀️🐝

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Amazing thought we need to slow down ourselves. We are wasting lot of our resources and investing our time on unnecessary things.

    We need to upgrade to enjoy the nature and downgrade to reduce the technology 😍 😍

    Like

  13. Great post and really thought provoking. I would in no way consider myself an “influencer” but if there’s a brand I love I would happily talk about them in my blog. I feel in this day and age it’s too easy to sell out to brands and we should all take some time to really think about what we’re promoting! x

    Liked by 1 person

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