By now, I’m sure all of you have heard about the college cheating scandal that is taking place in the United States and while I’m not surprised at it existing (I mean Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl did say something to the effect of if he was expelled from his prestigious private high school his parents would simply donate a new library to get him back in), I’m shocked at some of the frankly hateful commentary made against the whole influencer community.
Today, I am taking a brief departure away from my usual fashion based content to talk (again, mind you) about women tearing down other women and why this is a systemic societal issue that needs to stop.
This morning, I woke up and checked twitter (as I usually do) to find this tweet from Olivia Munn.
This tweet is incredibly condescending to the influencer community for three reasons.
One: Like it or not being an influencer is a business, you get paid for providing a service. Just because you aren’t formally employed in a 9-5 doesn’t make it not a business. So if you went to business school and became an influencer that’s bloody amazing because you understand how to run it like a business from day one vs. those of us who were in other degrees. Many influencers have used their following to build real-life business, clothing lines, PR Houses, beauty lines, dog clothing etc. and/or have rolled their success as an influencer into modelling, acting, or singing careers.
Two: MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY Influencers have Post- Secondary Degrees and didn’t plan on becoming influencers, it happened and instead of ignoring the success they found online in favour of something else they chased that dreams WHILE pursuing their degrees. Other situations are where people get their degrees, are working doing something else, start a channel or blog etc. it then becomes successful and they leave that job (after already been working out of university for a number of years) to pursue being an influencer.
Three: The influencer community is a largely FEMALE dominated industry. Oh yes, you heard me right, it’s female dominated and no it’s not exclusionary to men because men can be JUST as successful as women in it. It just so happens that at present more women are monetized in the space. So Olive Munn HIGH KEY sh*ting on being an influencer is her tearing down women and a predominately female industry.
However, her tweet while demeaning to all influencers is solely about Olivia Jade a very famous YouTuber who’s parents are charged in the college cheating scandal. Olivia’s parents bribed USC officials so Olivia could go there because she didn’t get in on her own merit. Now let’s be real. That’s straight b*ll. If you can’t get into University of your own merit you DO NOT have the right to take away a deserving kids spot. Now, she clearly was a successful YouTuber prior to attending USC so please stop getting it twisted that SHE went to USC to become an influencer. Nono honey, she was an influencer before that and if she wasn’t so busy building a multi-million following, she might have studied for the SATs, gotten good grades and made it into the University of her choice off of her own merit. It’s the trade-off SHE undertook. Please stop painting the situation like going to a good University is what makes you an influencer, that’s clearly not how it works and by perpetrating that you are just showing your ignorance. Her going to USC and her being an influencer are separate things and not correlated. If she had gotten into USC BECAUSE she was an influencer, you could draw that conclusion, but in this situation, she’s a kid who’s parents bribed her way into USC who happens to be an influencer.
So circling back to Olivia Munn tearing women down, and the point that I really want to make today.
First, to Olivia Munn hating on a female dominated industry. That’s just…. ya. She’s an actress and in reality, is being an actress and being an influencer really so different? She makes movies, we make YouTube videos. Everyone goes to industry events, walk red carpets and have huge followings online…
Second, I’m curious how many movies she’s made that pass the Bechdel-Wallace test. Just saying, I don’t think it’s many and she should work on the equity in her own industry before coming after an industry that is female dominated.
Third, can we stop tearing women down? It’s 2019, the last time I wrote about this was almost a year ago and I STILL need to write about this?!? Ok, so there is this scandal happening, and yes Olivia Jade was a part of it. Stop tearing down everyone else in the industry because of ONE person’s bad decisions. Yikes, if we all did this then America, you know the individual the world would judge you off of and you know that’s not going to be in your favour.
In conclusion, while college cheating scandals are bad, this is not an opportunity to break from the fight for equality, equity and equal rights, pay, opportunity etc. This is not an excuse to judge a whole industry based off of the actions of one individual. And this is not an excuse to tear women and the industry that we dominate down because you feel a kinda way towards one member of the industry. It’s further reason to lift each other up and show that not everyone in the industry is like this one individual. It’s a chance to show how hard working, supportive and inspiring this community can be.
I would like to remind you all again, that many influencers have created multiple businesses in addition to their online platforms, many influencers are HIGHLY educated, intelligent individuals, and that being on the internet doesn’t give you license to tear someone down JUST because they are on the internet.