So, how do you wake up in the morning?
I’m generally dishevelled, grumpy and, depending on the day of the week, hungover.
I definitely don’t wake up like Scarlett Dixon, who goes by Scarlett London on Instagram, although one of her most recent posts has been widely ridiculed.
It’s that image above, but we shall plonk it in full below. Pay attention to the caption:
The best of days starts with smiles and strawberries and pancakes – fine, I can live with that. Here’s the thing, Scarlett – that’s a pile of TORTILLA WRAPS.
If we get in a little closer:
Yup, tortillas. Also, Scarlett doesn’t strike me as the type to eat brekkie in bed.
All of that effort to punt Listerine, as per the end of the caption, and the bottle underneath the balloons on the right.
According to the Telegraph, the reaction was savage:
“Instagram is a ridiculous lie factory made to make us all feel inadequate,” read one tweet, which was liked nearly 90,000 times. June Tilbury, women’s officer for the Runneymede and Weybridge Labour Party, opined: “Basically she has bad breath. That’s why she’s alone.” According to Dixon’s next post, she received reams of direct abuse, including “malicious death threats”…
Hayley Irwin, who works in Instagram marketing, has seen far clunkier sponsored posts shared to the platform each day than Dixon’s: “I don’t understand why it’s generated the attention it has – there are a lot of influencers and celebrities who are far more socially irresponsible,” she says, citing Kim Kardashian’s recent post, advertising a diet lollipop to her 116 million followers.
Scarlett addressed the Instagram abuse in a follow-up post, with part of the caption below:
Yes, I do adverts on here, but only with brands I genuinely use and would spend money on myself…Sometimes my photos are whimsical and OTT and a little too pink, but I’m not presenting this as an ‘idealistic’ version of life that young girls should aspire to…
I personally don’t think my content is harmful to young girls but I do agree Instagram can present a false expectation for people to live up to. And I am wholeheartedly sorry if I’ve ever made anyone feel inadequate through my content. My life mission is quite the opposite.
Being an influencer on Instagram is big business, with industry experts estimating that those with more than a million followers can earn over £100 000 (R1,9 million) for a few sponsored posts.
That has had some interesting consequences:
“People who are famous just for being on Instagram are certainly able to make very successful careers out of it,” says Eleana Overett of Social Circle, which recently launched the UK’s first influencer marketing training academy. More primary school children now want to be social influencers than they do doctors, scientists or artists, according to a survey backed by University College London and the OECD earlier this year.
If I overhear a child saying that they want to be a social influencer when they grow up, I may finally lose all hope in humanity.
So, Instagram is a lie factory and it’s making us all feel inadequate, hey? Well, some studies back that up, saying that Instagram is the worst social media for mental health.
I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but it’s over to Blade with the wisest words of them all:
Off you go to live your best life on Instasham, then.
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