The perfect exterior of social media

Supreme hoodies, Gucci Ace embroidered low-top sneakers and a trip to Barbados, all accompanied with a verified checkmark.

As you scroll through your Instagram feed, chances are you will find multiple posts of famous influencers showing off their limited edition, name brand clothes and expensive vacations with a braggadocious caption.

Behind this trend lies a larger issue of people creating an inaccurate portrayal of themselves on social media to expand their “clout” or social media influence. They alter their online personality to make their audiences believe that they are flawless in order to attract more fans. By acting a certain way, influencers increase their popularity among the Internet

This type of behavior is commonly exhibited in the lifestyle vlogging community. Popular vloggers, such as LaurDIY and Alisha Marie, post about their eventful Disneyland adventures and daily morning routines yet do not share the mundane aspects to their everyday lives because it reveals the facade that they do not live up to the standards they claim to meet. Similarly, YouTube celebrity David Dobrik documents entertaining events and segments with his friends but rarely films a stripped down video. These types of videos reflect how concerned vloggers are about maintaining an image of perfectionism and how they avoid intimate videos.

Moreover, influencers, specifically beauty gurus like James Charles and Manny MUA, heavily rely on photo-editing applications like Facetune and Photoshop to change their appearances. Consciously perfecting their online appearance perpetuates the idea that influencers convince their audiences into believing they are perfect. If beauty gurus claim to excel in makeup, why do they depend on applications to edit their photos? Portraying a perfect exterior pressures them into utilizing these applications to attain a flawless image.

Currently, popular social media influencers’ presence revolves around maintaining a semblance of perfection. However, their efforts should be devoted to creating genuine content by prioritizing their creative control. This approach will naturally hone a stronger fanbase, which is arguably more important than being popular. In the end, it comes down to which content the influencer deems more important: personal or perfect.

By Sherman Wu, Manager
Editorial Cartoon by Joy Wang