Under the Influence
With our world morphing into one big marketplace of materialism, envy and greed, the strangest by-product to emanate from society’s unfettered commercialism and consumerism is the ‘influencer’. In an intelligent, philosophical, thinking society an influencer would be a person with street cred who would encourage people to think and question in a positive and ethical manner. But in today’s weird new world an influencer is far from that, and instead is a cheerleader for mindless consumption and an upholder of the luxury lifestyle we all so desire.
In Australia, the influencer set is heavily dominated by reality TV ‘stars’, fashion divas, AFL WAGS, socialite wives, the offspring of rich dudes and attractive wannabes; people who affect the lifestyle decisions of the masses (i.e. what to wear, eat, drive and how many babies to have) based on their physical appearance and penchant for posting scantily clad photos on social media. The fact that these influencers hold so much sway speaks volumes about our society. Perhaps we could make a decent go of eliminating world poverty and global warming if we weren’t wasting our precious time caring about the vegan, gluten-free smoothie ingested by a bikini wearing AFL WAG?
I’m sure Pearl could follow the lead of the Insta-WAGs and influence the lives of others – without needing to reveal my dirty laundry, without needing to wear a string bikini and a spray tan, and without needing to complain about the jealous bullying of trolls who take exception to scantily clad selfies. Pearl Bullivant is here to influence the masses in a positive way. Being somewhat of an enigma but at the same time having a large following via The Beast, Pearl has that unique blend of micro and macro influencer that helps her stand out from the crowd. If people are naïve enough to defer to a wealthy yummy mummy when making important lifestyle choices, like whether to become vegan or purchase a $5,000 Fendi handbag, I’m sure they can be influenced to become less self-absorbed and more courteous via Pearl’s Instagram feed.
Imagine the power of good I could yield through social media: selfies of Pearl having her Opal card ready before boarding the bus, Pearl keeping to the left on footpaths and escalators, Pearl parking her Suzuki Swift legally and between the lines, Pearl leashing her dog and picking up its excrement. These are the lengths I would happily go to to convey the positives of behaving in a mindful manner. There’d be no need for props like bikinis, green elixir or acai poke bowls, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t say yes to appearing on MKR if my Insta-fame attracts their attention.
If the health department can squander $600,000 of taxpayers’ dosh on engaging pretty young influencers to sell exercise to the masses, they would get a far better deal by paying old Pearlie here to Instagram her power walking regime, sweaty and red faced with 2XU clothing clinging to her skinny frame, held in place by a fresh pair of Mizuno Waveriders.