Birmingham, UK

WHY THE DAYS OF THE 'INFLUENCER' ARE NUMBERED

2020 is already a year for the history books, and we are only 6 months in. There are a lot of things happening around us right now, and whilst it might seem very doom and gloom, I think many of us can already see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

This year is going to be a year of big changes. Millions of us have already seen our lives turned upside down because of the pandemic, and now we have more change on the way due to the massive surge in support for the Black Lives Matter movement. But these events have accidentally caused a mini-revolution within the online world, I believe they've triggered the demise of the influencer.


Photograph of a computer screen showing the definition of an influencer
 Definition of an influencer 

Influencers will always be around, the very definition of an influencer is ''a person or thing that influences another'' so for that reason we will always have an influencer of some sort. However, the influencer as we know them are running the risk of extinction, and I'm not mad about it.

Instagram is full of the typical influencer, you know the 'do it for the gram' crowd, and if I'm honest I've fallen into this category myself one too many times. We've all taken a photo, or shared some content purely because we knew it would get likes. I mean I still do it, I'll spend hours getting ready just to take a couple of cute shots and whilst there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, I think the world is starting to getting bored of it. My generation, in particular, is getting tired of empty Instagram posts and a lot of us have already abandoned celebrity culture for this exact reason.


Photograph of a phone screen showing the instagram page of Stephanie Yeboah
Stephanie Yeboah

I've followed bloggers and influencers for years on many different platforms, and whilst my favourites have changed over time, there are certain people I have always kept around. I didn't realise the reason for this until last week when it hit me that some of the 'influencers' I've followed the longest are the ones with a voice. People such as Stephanie Yeboah, Grace Victory, Leanne Woodful, they've all spoke up on important issues, and I've always admired them for that, whether I realised it or not.

This certain type of influencer offers the world so much more than a pretty face. They share important information and opinions, they unapologetically advocate for change, and they give us hope of a better world. As much as these women can influence others to purchase the latest skincare products, they also have the power to inspire a revolution, and that is what I believe my generation is now looking for.

So how are current events causing the demise of the current top influencers? I think it's been very clear over the last couple of weeks just how fragile this industry is, and how shallow some of the most popular influencers are. With the murder of George Floyd and the disgust that followed both on and offline, it was obvious that many of us looked to our favourite influencers to speak up. And many of them did. Our feeds were filled with information and acts of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, but disappointingly many influencers chose to stay silent.

Photograph of a phone screen showing the instagram page of Grace Victory
Grace Victory

Influencers with huge followings seemed to ignore the disgusting acts of police brutality and everyday racism that was being shown on all platforms, and this simply wasn't good enough. Staying silent when the most important civil rights movement of our generation is battling on around us is not good enough. If you're not using your voice for good, what are you using it for?

I think maybe some influencers, especially those with a smaller following may have felt they didn't have anything of value to add to the conversation, especially after the controversy around the black square on Instagram. But I also think more and more of us are waking up to the fact that with a following of any kind comes responsibility, and it is our job to at the very least amplify voices of change, which in this case was the Black community.


Photograph of a phone screen showing the instagram page of Leanne Woodfull
Leanne Woodfull

"Influencers" won't be going anywhere just yet, but influencers, as we know them, will soon find themselves dying out if they don't shape up and find a voice. People are tired of nothing but empty Instagram posts and they are tired of influencers, especially those with a large following, staying silent on important issues. In the coming weeks and months, we are going to see a surge of people looking for leaders and I'm not sorry to say if that if you're not with the movement publically, your silence suggests you're against it.

The way is currently being paved for influencers who have the power to change things for the better, and that is something I can get behind.


While you're here, have you had a chance to donate to the Black Minds Matter fund? The fund aims to provide mental health services for Black people in need. If you would like to make a donation you can do so on the Black Minds Matter Go Fund Me page.

Thanks for reading!


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