We are in an era of influence, and I often fall victim to it.
Whether I walk into Starbucks because I see someone on the street holding a coffee or I purchase something in a store that I saw online, I am susceptible to behaving based on things I see in the world — especially things I see online.
Influencers like Emma Chamberlain, David Dobrik and the D’Amelio sisters have a chokehold on society, which leads me to wonder: How is this influence affecting the way young generations perceive themselves?
Social media, namely TikTok, has completely changed the public outlook on trends. Seeing people close to our age tell us what to do, how to act and what to buy to be perceived a certain way is a game changer.
Alix Earle, the latest social media icon and TikTok celebrity, known for her makeup collection and morning routine videos at the University of Miami, has taken over social media. She was even mentioned on ESPN, largely due to her former relationship with former MLB player Tyler Wade.
Earle has used her clout and social media domination to convince young girls to throw away hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars of makeup from Sephora, Ulta, Amazon and Target.
They go out in droves to replace these products with expensive name brands to mimic her makeup routine so they can look and feel like her.
This is what influencers do, right? Their image influences.
One of Earle’s most magnetic attributes as an idolized social media presence is her transparency on and offline. She appears to not hide her emotions or experiences — specifically her cosmetic procedures — and prides herself on her funny and sweet personality. Her willingness to be transparent about her hardships, especially her past relationships, helps her fans find comfort in their own difficulties.
This openness is important because, contrary to her media perception as a stereotypical influencer, she is seemingly genuine and kind, often complimenting online users through comments.
Specifically, I think she is honest when it comes to reviews. She does promotions sincerely and continually uses the same products. There has to be trust between an influencer and a consumer when it comes to suggestions about what to purchase.
I have fallen victim to her influence, and I think some aspects of her role are incredibly purposeful. Her “Get Ready with Me” videos, where she uses specific items often end up in my saved videos so I can go online and shop for those same items later.
I have purchased the Benefit Roller Lash mascara and numerous powders, tools and lip products to achieve her desired look.
Although doing so makes me feel empowered at times, this does make me question my own individuality.
While I believe being inspired by celebrities can be powerful when their actions are done with good intentions, I can’t help but wonder if celebrities’ influence should be this saturated among young people.
How has this one college student created an “it girl” status that we all feel we should follow? Is it possible to maintain this image we aspire to embody? It’s human nature to see an individual and be swayed by their actions, but is it healthy for the younger generations to try and become them?
I believe Earle has managed to use her influence positively, and she mainly focuses on the beauty industry. She manages to show her humanity through her videos and reminds young girls that everyone is beautiful in their own way — a shift from past social media philosophies and brand mission statements. While they still look to her as someone to follow, her message is realistic and promotes positivity when it comes to loving yourself.
Her demeanor reminds young girls that beauty does come from within, and the products she uses merely enhance it. She has been honest about her journey with acne and how Accutane has helped her, and she seems to relate to feelings of self-consciousness and other struggles of her viewers. This relatability is why she has earned her consumers’ trust.
Alix Earle has taken the term “influencer” and managed to change the stereotype by keeping young girls in tune with the definition of true beauty.