When I grow up I want to be…
A veterinarian. A singer. An astronaut. I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid I had my sights set on some pretty cool career paths. I was going to take care of animals and become a Disney princess. Oh, I also wanted to be a doctor and a teacher and a professional athlete. And if I wanted to dress up as any of these, I could!
But never in my life did I think, I want to be a social media influencer.
Apparently, times have changed.
Urban Outfitters recently came out with their latest Halloween costume called the “Influencer.” If you don’t know what this is, think of a female social-media personality clad in neutral-tone leggings and a sports bra. That’s it: the whole costume. Throw in some long hair, sunglasses (but only if it’s at night) and a baseball hat and voila. There you have it. An Influencer.
According to Urban Outfitters, an Influencer is someone who wears all the above. And many young women would say, additionally, that an Influencer is someone who knows what to wear, how to do their makeup and how to (somewhat) articulate their thoughts, ideas and passions. Plus, it helps that they’re usually in great shape and very attractive.
But what does an Influencer actually do? Well, Kim Kardashian is an Influencer. Sure, she has other titles: reality star, fashion mogul, successful businesswoman, wife (to Kanye West), mother (to two super-cute kids). But most of them sprung from her real business as an influencer. She also posts very risqué pictures in the name of current trends, and it seems that most young girls who idolize Kim K. aren’t looking to her for her brains, but her body. She’s an influencer, all right—sometimes for the wrong reasons.
As a former high school teacher, I often saw young girls doing their makeup and dressing just like Kim. It was like there were little Kim clones all over the hallways.
This isn’t a diss on Kim; she is truly beautiful and I’d like to think that she’s a good person. But it was hard for me to see so many girls wanting to look and be just one way. They weren’t appreciating their own bodies or faces, and they were trying to erase their individuality in favor of one standard. And that’s not okay.
In the age of The Influencer, my hope is that young men and women are surrounded by people who love and cherish them for them. My hope is that the church speaks louder than culture. And, ultimately, my hope is that we believe that in Our Creator we are fearfully and wonderfully made.