Irresponsible Influencers are Tone Deaf to the Pandemic – Conservative Article
Reaching almost one year of national lockdowns, we have seen the exceptional synergy of the nation. The U.K has come together to support one another. Brits have been buying from local businesses, running 5K for the NHS, and most importantly, adhering to the rules of lockdown. There are, however, a select group of people who seem to consider themselves exempt from the measures put in place: social media influencers.
Numerous influencers have flocked to Dubai on the basis of ‘essential travel for work’. In reality, their ‘work’ is merely a glorified holiday. The devastating result of this has been the largest surge of coronavirus cases yet in the UAE. Since January 1st, cases in the UAE have increased by 80,000. This is the outcome of social media influencers abusing the essential travel exemption for the purpose of partying abroad. Additionally, tourists in Dubai have not been respecting the social distancing measures of the UAE by not wearing masks and partying on beaches.
Influencers such as Georgia Louise Harrison have claimed that this travel is absolutely essential for their brands. Their Instagram accounts prove otherwise. When scrolling through the accounts of these influencers, all I can see is a collection of posed bikini shots on the beach, partying, and utter disrespect to social distancing measures. Yes, some of these influencers have swimwear brands. However, this is certainly not a sufficient reason for ‘essential travel’ in the midst of a pandemic. Influencers have previously relied on studio shooting before the pandemic, so why is the studio not good enough now?
Other influencers, such as Olivia Atwood have slammed their influencer peers for their neglect. Atwood addressed those holidaying in Dubai, stating that, “People are losing their family members daily, people can’t pay their rent, people’s life-long businesses are crumbling around them and you’re on the beach telling us we don’t know how hard it is?”
Additionally, Lisa Minot, a travel journalist for The Sun, stated in an interview with LBC that “I consider myself a key worker, I’m a journalist. I am in lockdown and that means I don’t leave the country.” The fact that these influencers have labelled their travel as ‘essential’ is shameful. It is an insult to those at the frontline of the NHS who are risking their lives every single day.
There is some obvious government responsibility in this mess. However, these influencers have completely abused the system of essential travel put in place by the government. As a result of the surge in cases, Dubai has had to put further lockdown measures in place. Pubs and bars are shut. Restaurants have a curfew. Consequently, the U.K. government has added Dubai to a ‘red list’ of places that are banned from travel. This would not have been necessary had influencers not taken such ridiculous liberties.
The response from influencers after the ban has shown their blatant ridicule towards the measures implemented as a result of their actions. Mockingly, the Instagram models have taunted the travel ban, writing that it is a “shame” that they are stuck in Dubai. Influencer, Alva Madsen labelled her critics as ‘envious’. Addressing the travel ban, Madsen wrote, “We can always come home, they’re just making it more inconvenient, and with a bigger risk of infection.”
What I cannot comprehend is such overwhelming arrogance. Their prioritisation of unessential travel over public health is inexcusable. They have taken advantage of the measures put in place by the UK government. They have put the residents of the UAE at risk. Worst of all, they have ridiculed the many those affected by the harsh reality of the virus.
In what way can we possibly continue to label these people as ‘influencers’?
Written by Junior Conservative Writer, Rebecca Selt
Point of Information
Ignorance is No Excuse for Foolishness – A Labour Response
Rebecca’s article is spot on. She really points out how much ignorance those holidaying in Dubai or elsewhere are displaying. Meanwhile, the rest of the world struggles to cope with Covid-19.
Unfortunately, influencers are rarely aware of the responsibility that comes with their position. We have seen this time and time again. I hope this time around, people become a bit more aware of the hypocritical and arrogant façade that often surrounds this culture.
This is not a new issue. Previously, influencers and celebrities have advertised fad diets, appetite suppressants, and detoxes that promote diet culture and contribute to our society’s toxic body attitudes. Admittedly, there has been public criticism, such as Jameela Jamil’s calling out of several members of the Kardashian family. Nevertheless, the power of influencers remains.
I doubt people mean to cause indirect harm. But even so, by prioritising money and power, this ignorance can be fatal and must be curbed.
We’ve also seen numerous cases of extreme hypocrisy and arrogance throughout the course of this pandemic. Public figures from Dominic Cummings to Rita Ora, have demonstrated that there is one rule for the few and another for the many. This has caused much criticism and anger among the British public.
With these latest cases in Dubai, patience seems to be wearing thin. Many influencers who have been in Dubai have lost followers, some losing up to 25,000 since the start of December.
I really hope this is a wake-up call for both influencers and their followers. The former need to start taking their power and responsibilities seriously. The latter need to make sure they take everything they see on social media with a healthy pinch of salt. It is vital that people ensure they prioritise their own mental health by filling their feed with people who don’t egregiously abuse their position and privilege.
Written by Junior Labour Writer, Zoe Olsen-Groome
Influencers Have Proved Their Stereotype Correct: They’re Harming Their Own Industry Too – A Liberal Article
I could not agree with Rebecca and Zoe more. The way that so many influencers have acted throughout this pandemic and subsequent lockdowns is shameful and an embarrassment. How many times do we need to spell it out?
You are not an essential worker if your primary job is posting Instagram pictures. In this scenario, I’d be more inspired and influenced by the people openly talking about being stuck at home in their trackies, or mental health, or other issues that have arisen over this pandemic. If you desperately need to show off your new swimwear range, model it in your living room. Nobody will judge you for that.
Don’t make a mockery of the people who are working every hour of the day and night to treat people who are lying in Intensive Care Units on ventilators, or the ones who are grieving awful losses in the worst circumstances. I don’t care if “we all tested negative first”. You appear morally bankrupt.
The influencers blatantly ignoring rules and travel bans in order to party on beaches are also tainting everyone else in the same industry. Many content creators on Youtube and other platforms work hard creating interesting content that has a positive impact on their communities, raising their voices for important causes, and encouraging responsible behaviour in the pandemic. But because of some irresponsible Love Island cast-off, they are all being tarred with the same brush. Surely it is detrimental enough to these influencers brands to be seen to be so callous and out of touch – many of them are losing thousands of followers as it is.
Many influencers have simply proved their stereotype to be true – self-obsessed, shallow, and now utterly tone-deaf.
Written by Junior Liberal Writer, Emma Hall
I am a third year student studying English and Film Studies at the University of Exeter. After completing my degree, I will be converting to law to begin my journey of becoming a commercial lawyer. As an avid reader of the Financial Times, I have begun to understand how important the commercial market is in forming global politics.
I have just graduated with a History degree from the University of Exeter and am about to start my Masters there in Conflict, Security, and Development. I will also be taking on the roles of Welfare Officer in the Politics Society and Vice-President for Coppafeel’s Exeter Uni Boob Team.