Are social media models real models?

20 years ago when I started modeling there was no internet. There was no digital photography, hell there weren’t even cell phones.

There were standards. There were requirements. There were things that every model needed to do in order to make it in the big, bad world of fashion. Height, weight, proportions etc etc etc.

Today, however, if you have a smartphone, daisy dukes and aren’t afraid to pose provocatively, congratulations….YOU’RE A SOCIAL MEDIA MODEL, or as some women are finding themselves, ” influencers”.

Some will argue that this is the ‘everyday’ females opportunity to break into the modeling industry even if their stats don’t measure up. Some will say, that the world of social media modeling is destroying the standards of what the industry is. Some will go so far as to say that those who seek ‘likes’ and live for their IG or Snapchat suffer from low self-esteem? What says you???

I was recently approached by an online company who represents social influencers. A social influencer is someone who has built an online following either through FB, IG or other social media platforms. These people are the ones you see getting ‘free’ products in order to share with their followers and increase the visibility of the company. In return for taking a photo with the product, you get to keep the product.

Let’s see how this compares to the real world of modeling: In the real world, the client would call an agent to book a model. The agent would negotiate a fee for the model to wear the clients’ clothes or accessories. Average half day rate of $500. Using social media, a company can find an ‘influencer’ and offer them a $5 t-shirt in return for one post on their page. So, you as the social media model get a $5 t-shirt and the company gets basically all that free advertising. You may post once, but that post will be up for years. Who wins in this scenario?

The other difference is this social media influencer agent who contacted me, who represent the influencers like a modeling agency, takes 70% of any fee you earn through them! 70%! The average modeling agency takes 20% and that can be negotiable depending on the talent.

The problem with being an influencer is that you are selling yourself, your time, your image, for sunglasses. Or hair products. Or a dress etc. And what is the value of these items? Retail cost $100? $39? $55??? Is that what your value is? But….could doing all of these lower-valued deals land you a bigger deal in the long run?

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And what about what you have to do to get those followers? I recently came across an ‘influencer’ profile where every other photo is of her butt. Just her butt. Her butt in pants. Her butt in velvet. Her butt in a bikini….I’d like to think this woman has more to offer than just what she sits on. But as with life, everything is open to interpretation, right?

 

Now, I will play devil’s advocate for a minute, she has over 20k followers, but what is she offering them exactly? What is she influencing them to be a part of? And the company who is giving her free stuff, THIS is how you want your company to be represented?

There are always 2 sides to the conversation. Small businesses who don’t have the big budgets can’t afford to hire professional models. Using influencers is a great compromise, low investment, possibly a big return.

What about those followers…do they really buy the things the influencers post? Does this method of advertising work? Or is it more about brand exposure than sales?

Now I get it, sex sells, but I mean honestly, I feel like this whole instamodel stuff has moved our feminine advancements back a few decades.

All of that work our ancestors did to get us the freedoms we have today, we have to now go out and take a gazillion steps backward in order to get recognition?? And what is that saying to our young women of today? That the only way to achieve success is to take it off?

I imagine porn stars are as annoyed as the modeling industry is…their sales went down when social media went up too.

They say boys marry women like their mothers, and girls marry boys like their fathers? If I have no self-respect, what kind of woman are my boys likely to bring home? The answer is just not good enough.

Hold your head up high and don’t make a deal with the devil who only seeks to take advantage of your dreams ( I have faith in you!).

Hold tight to the efforts made by our foresisters….and stand up to those who wish to take us down by treating us like Jezebels, but disguise it as admiration.

Our power goes beyond the physical ladies, let’s start posting sexy photos of our smarts, instead of our parts.

And that my friends, is my take on the world of social media influencers. Share your thoughts below

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