Are Social Media Influencers the New Celebrities?

Lately there has been a lot of controversy regarding whether or not influencers are the new celebrities. Influencers have been thriving since the COVID-19 pandemic because everyone is on their phones to get through the day. TikTok had 837 million monthly active users in the middle of 2020; it's one of the most used apps throughout the world. These “content creators, also known as influencers, are currently dominating the app, as millions of users login everyday to see their favorite creators every day.

As influencers, they are influencing the minds of teens by producing relatable content. These influencers, many being everyday teenagers, get paid millions of dollars to influence others to be just like them. They seem to reach out to the pre-teen audience more than the average teen audience, because teenagers, for the most part, have a greater sense of individuality and don’t appeal to content made by influencers. It's hard for actual celebrities to go out and do the things they do best because of the pandemic, so they are taking breaks and taking time to be with their family. So influencers are the new “replacements' ' for celebrities for the time being, but now that the COVID laws are being repealed and we have Covid vaccines, the celebrities we love are coming back to reclaim their spots.

Influencers may seem like they are as valued as celebrities, but they only have a little bit higher social status than “normal people,” making money from both sponsorships and their content. they are even being invited to celebrity events. One person with a strong opinion is EHHS teacher, Ms. Jessica Spinelli. Mrs. Spinelli has worked on many productions as part of her professional experiences. She did not watch the VMA’s or the Met Gala, however she did see all of the outfits through Facebook and Instagram. There was so much controversy surrounding both events.

Some people believe that the VMA’s were “rigged” because Justin Bieber won the Best Artist Award. Bieber was up against Ariana Grande, Doja Cat, Megan TheeStallion, Olivia Rodrigo, and Taylor Swift. They all released albums which had high rankings on the chart, receiving a lot more votes than Justin. Mrs. Spinelli believes “there is a possibility” she has worked on many reality tv sets and she knows just about everything that happens with production. She says, “I can see it being rigged”. The award show itself was not the only thing that stirred up controversy. Influencers were invited to the event, people were outraged because it was a celebrity only event this year. The hate did not stop the influencers from going to the event to mix and mingle with their favorite celebrities. They dressed accordingly and teamed up with a lot of high end fashion brands knowing they would be the talk of the night. Ms. Spinelli personally loved Megan Fox, Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, Bella Poarch, and Ciara’s outfits. She also noticed that influencers were copying other celebrity looks from the early 2000s. A great example is Bretman Rock who wore an exact copy of Aaliyah’s dress from the 2001 VMAs, as well as Madison Beer who stole Beyonce’s look from the early 2000s. Ms. Spinelli explained how everyone's style (especially in celebrity fashion) has been “recycled” and we are at a point in time right now where fashion is moving backwards. Spinelli feels if it is a tribute outfit then it's ok, but if you just steal someone's look it's not ok and we should try to be as unique as possible when it comes to fashion. The Met Gala also had a lot of controversy with the theme which was “American fashion” because not everyone knows exactly what American fashion is. Ms. Spinelli explained how the Met Gala is always “pushing the edge” and this year they went over the edge. . Everyone went over the top and the fashion was way more “daring than it ever was and things are accepted more than they used to be” says Ms. Spinelli. Her Met Gala favorites were Grimes, Megan Fox ,Kendall Jenner, and Kim Kardashian because “she made a statement.”