Words by Sabelle Mebane
Photo by Viviana Rishe on Unsplash
Iʼve been on Instagram for a while now but I started using it to publicly sharing my self portrait fashion photography when I was 13. At the time YouTube was the main media outlet you could get rich and famous from, Instagram influencers were practically unheard of. The amount of success I have achieved through Instagram was an accident, I never imagined how much I could accomplish through sharing my work on social media. My experience with Instagram is a positive one and Iʼm incredibly thankful for being able to use it as an outlet to express my creativity. The term “Instagram influencer” has been associated with me on numerous occasions and after a few publications named me one the term kinda stuck with me. I personally never considered myself one because my content was never the typical influencer (selfies, mirror selfies, Snapchat selfies, all of the selfies). Although my content didnʼt mirror an influencer I did have a large following and sponsorships from well known brands.
Iʼve been to many events filled with aspiring influencers and itʼs definitely a toxic community. Instagram has changed so much compared to when I first started using it to share my art and it seems like now the majority of public figures are more concerned with a corrupt paycheck rather than the content they put out.
Having a large voice on social media was something I never took for granted. I knew there were other young girls following me and I had a responsibility to be a good example and raise awareness for prevalent social issues. The sad truth is many creators with a following of millions are using their voice to promote products that arenʼt just harmful to a womenʼs self esteem but their bodies as well.
Detox teas, waist trainers, appetite suppressants etc. most of these products are a scam. Although many of us have the common sense to not buy into these products there is still so much harm being done. Companies are paying people that so many look up to, to promote products seriously detrimental to our bodies and itʼs disgusting. By promoting these products youʼre also promoting self hate and negativity, you are teaching women that they have to change themselves to fit a beauty standard.
Your supporters trust you, promote products you truly love and believe in, use your voice for good.