Let’s Talk About The Real Pandemic: Influencers.

INFLUENCER-19 is in full swing.


Kylie Jenner

Swarm of A-Listers pose for mirror selfie in the Met Gala bathroom.

Mei Dotzler, Editor

We’re all victims of social media, our screen times exceeding four to five hours a day filled with nothing but constant scrolling. We idolize the people we follow, placing them on this sacred pedestal that ultimately removes them from the regular population and into Hollywood’s A-list. We turn on post notifications, like and comment, and subscribe to their content and as a result, these people are making transcendent amounts of money. All by doing virtually nothing.

More formally known as “influencers,” this is what they’ve labeled their official job title as, indicating that what they do influences the general public in some way. In a society that’s dictated by millennials and the ever-present possibility of getting “canceled,” if we like you, you’re almost guaranteed unyielding popularity and a minimum of six figures. One viral video on YouTube or TikTok is all you need to start collecting that creator fund, ranging anywhere from $3,000 to $40,000 per video depending on the view count. It’s gotten to the point where people make careers out of this, being able to use the $500 they spent on a 10-minute video as a tax write-off.

The sexy pout that gets 3.3 million likes on Instagram. (Khloé Kardashian)

Influencers even have the audacity to classify what they’re doing as “work.” For example, Khloé Kardashian shares a photo of herself promoting Sugar Bear Hair vitamins on Instagram and boom! 5 million likes, $500,000 payout, and Sugar Bear Hair is now sold out. It isn’t even her own product but because she’s beautiful and has a large following, her “work” for the day is done. Tana Mongeau, a fellow YouTuber, debuts an OnlyFans and in less than 3 weeks, she’s made 3 million dollars for posting a bikini picture with some cleavage. She must’ve left “work” that day feeling so exhausted.

All these influencers have one thing in common that stands out: pretty privilege. It’s the only thing that explains the immense fame when they’re doing little to nothing to earn it. They’re handed their accomplishments on a silver platter, a 9 to 5 job being a foreign concept to them. Kylie and Kendall Jenner are the epitome of this; they’re elevated to an elite status solely because they’re products of nepotism, only getting to where they are today thanks to their sister Kim’s claim to fame. Kylie was made the youngest billionaire for a makeup empire that’s lackluster and overpriced, and Kendall is the highest-paid model in the world for purely mediocre modeling skills. Are they both so talented on their own that they would’ve achieved the same success if they started from the bottom like everyone else? Let’s be honest, probably not. We could sit here and debate this all day, but they could care less as they’re sipping Mai Tai’s by the pool soaking in that Calabassas air.

That’s how easy it is. You don’t need a college degree or any shred of initiative, all you have to do is be above average looking and pose in front of a camera. What does it say about this generation when a Harvard Law graduate makes the same salary as Addison Rae who makes 15-second dance videos on Tik Tok? It’s purely a slap in the face.

Addison Rae’s signature face she makes in all her Tik Toks. The face that makes $50,000 a month.

Not only do they make ridiculous incomes, but they’re also partnered with luxury designers, like Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Chanel. Charli D’Amelio, 17-year-old with 123.5 million followers, is the latest Louis Vuitton ambassador and co-owner of the Social Tourist collection by Hollister. On top of that, she also has her own Hulu show… James Charles, makeup connoisseur with 24.9 million followers, attended the Met Gala alongside fashion icon Alexander Wang. These influencers have literally infiltrated any industry you can think of, somehow manipulating their way into the front row of every event.

I think ignorance is their strong suit, subconsciously adhering to the idea that because I have a lot of followers, my opinion is suddenly superior and everyone must care about what I have to say. They believe the rules don’t apply to them anymore, that’s why they go to Rolling Loud during a pandemic and hire a security team to escort them to their daily errands. Their god-complexes have peaked and they use Instagram likes as a way to alleviate their bruised egos.

At the end of the day, social media is run by narcissists who love attention, and we’re just as part of the problem for following them in the first place. However, through the vast majority of superficial influencers, there are a select few that actually use their platforms for productive reasons. Emma Chamberlain has centered her entire brand on authenticity, pioneering self-confidence among her young followers through her YouTube videos and podcast Anything Goes. And other popular YouTubers like Cody Ko, Safiya Nygaard, and Kelsey Kreppel, all using their channels for entertainment purposes rather than personal gain and never showing any signs of letting the subscriber count get to their heads.

Did I only name YouTubers that I like just now? Yes. And does that make me a hypocrite? Well, yeah. Everyone I watch is excluded from the entire point of this article because I said so.