De-influencing from trends
By Mikaela Delos Santos, Publishing Editor
At 8:30 on a Monday, I found myself zoning out in class, staring too intently at my Yeti tumbler. It was a big cup in this ugly navy colour. My parents got it as a little freebie with one of their purchases and they thought I might want it, which of course I did.
As I looked around in class, I realized that clearly, I was a trend too late. Everyone else had big white Stanley tumblers and it got me thinking. For some reason, so many people fuss about the vessel that stores their water or coffee. Back in middle school, it was Hydroflasks, then it became S’well’s, then Yeti’s, and then Stanley’s. It just baffles me. At the end of the day, they’re just mugs and bottles, nothing makes them stand out from one another.
I’m glad to say that I haven’t been fazed by the water bottle trends. Think of it this way, the steel and the packaging of these different brands could all come from the same manufacturers. You’re paying $50 for an original when you could find a dupe for half the price at Marshalls or Winners. In three to five years, will this still be trendy? Will you have space for all of these accumulated products in the long term? These considerations don’t just apply for water bottles but they also apply to every ‘trendy’ product that TikTok and Instagram persuades you to buy.
This is prominent in the beauty community. Pre-TikTok, beauty YouTubers were a crazy force in pushing out products to their fans. It was riddled with so much competition that it had constant drama in the industry. More often than not, the YouTubers themselves were the ones who brought the theatrics. But fans went crazy with every release, eager to try it out for the very first time. In one case, a Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson makeup collab found their website crashing because so many fans wanted to get first dibs on their products.
Now, the TikTok beauty community has made its own reputation in promoting products. Back in the summer of 2023, TikTok influencer Mikayla Nogueira received backlash for giving fake reviews and not disclosing ads on her videos. This led to a lack of trust within the community and target audiences.
In fact, known YouTuber, Manny MUA reveals the tactics used within the beauty community. Apparently, if a TikTok influencer is too overly positive with their reviews, it is very likely that they are trying to garner a brand’s attention so that the brand will ‘buy’ their video to turn into a paid sponsorship. If you were to dive into most of these TikTok influencer’s videos, some of them actually have videos on their account of products that they previously reviewed in a negative light, while currently endorsing. After finding this out, a lot of people have concluded that influencers are more likely to do so because their video hasn’t been ‘bought.’
It was this so-called scandal that started the trend of de-influencing, where other influencers found themselves rebelling against the norm to gain back the trust of their followers. I don’t have the stats of Mikayla Nogueira’s followers pre and post-scandal but it’s safe to say that her marketing malpractices have started the idea of critically following an influencer.
While I don’t often buy influencer-approved products, I did succumb to certain hyped trends such as Skims. I still like it and don’t regret buying it at all.
But at the end of the day, products, brands and marketers are just going with their main goal of making a profit. It is up to the consumer to be wise and cautious with the brands they buy and the influencers they follow.