Social media influencers are not real celebrities
Social media influencers are everywhere nowadays, writing books, starring in Netflix movies and even making appearances at the Met Gala. Despite the increasing presence in mainstream media, social media influencers should not be treated as traditional celebrities.
Traditional celebrities like Brad Pitt or Ariana Grande come to fame through working in different types of entertainment industries such as music, movies and sports. Now social media has contributed to the creation of influencer-dominated content we experience today where anyone can gain a following no matter their talent level.
The purpose of an influencer is in the name; to influence people by often doing brand deals and promoting different products to their fans. They gain their following through posting on social media such as Instagram, TikTok and Youtube.
There can be an overlap between influencers and traditional celebrities. Influencers such as Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae could be considered influencers turned celebrities as Rae has a movie and D’Amelio has a reality TV show. However, this doesn’t mean these influencers necessarily deserve to have these traditional celebrity opportunities.
There is no doubt that there is definitely a place for influencers in pop culture and advertising. In fact, most marketers consider influencer marketing as effective and plan to increase the budget for that.
While these influencers may be good for brand marketing, social media influencers are not on par with traditional celebrities and do not need to be treated as such.
One reason is there is not always a guaranteed level of legitimacy with the actual size of an influencer’s following. Anybody can create an Instagram account and create the facade of being an influencer by buying followers and engagement.
HBO came out with a documentary called “Fake Famous” to show how easy it is to gather high-quality photos, mimic trendy captions and purchase bots to follow a fake account as well as like the posts.
Another reason is that celebrities are supposed to be more of a household name while social media influencers have more of a niche following. Social media is still young and anyone can make an account go viral.
Not everyone in the real world keeps up with or even uses social media. Many people have no idea who a lot of these influencers are, so why should they be invited to an event as important in the celebrity world as the Met Gala?
Furthermore, celebrities are given opportunities to be in movies and release albums because more often than not, they have the talent. Many influencers have gotten acting opportunities just because of their star status on Instagram and TikTok.
It does not make sense to give a person like Addison Rae with no acting experience or training a movie contract just because they have a following. The same goes for influencer Cameron Dallas who was cast in “Mean Girls” on Broadway despite having no vocal talent or acting experience. He was cast simply because he was popular.
Being considered a social media influencer can be impressive but that doesn’t mean they can act or sing. Influencers can have their spotlight, but shouldn’t be given celebrity-level opportunities just because they have a lot of social media followers.
Saba Kazi is a biotechnology sophomore who can be reached at [email protected]