If you're in the blogging world or not you may have seen a post regarding a lovely lady by the same of Scarlett London. Her Instagram account blew up over the weekend and this subsequent week because someone (read: asshat) on Twitter decided to slate her for creating a photo as part of an ad deal with Listerine. In her photo, she's sitting on her gorgeous balloon-surrounded bed with the now dubbed "tortilla pancakes" holding a mug and having a giggle. She even states at the end of her caption that her photo was a paid partnership with Listerine.
This is really nothing out of the ordinary for an influencer these days, and when you take a look at her account as a whole, you can see that this is just one in a thousand staged photos she's created for her online portfolio. And that's what it is. A PORTFOLIO. An online portfolio of gorgeous photography and editing, put out into the world with a wider message to spread in the comments. One quick look at Scarlett's account as a whole and you'll see that she's not pretending to be some perfect human specimen. Hell, her bio explicitly states what you're going to get out of her account:
She's a UK-based Youtuber and Blogger who focuses on style, travel, and happens to also have IBS, which upon clicking many of her photos, she openly talks about with her audience to help anyone else who may suffer with what she does. Even though Scarlett's just living her best life, the fact this photo blew up meant she began to receive a slew of nasty, uninformed, and downright shitty comments from people everywhere. One comment in particular helps to highlight what so many other people have been commenting as well as neatly summarise what infuriates me about the way the mainstream media also covered this. Here's the comment:
So this comment here BLOWS my mind and is one of the many comments you can see on Scarlett's post (here's an article with some more). It touts a very bizarre notion that content creators shouldn't work for money and rather just take the "exposure". Mainstream media seems to love pretending like creators don't do real work and therefore should not be paid for it. Journalists and commenters also seem to love picking at the fact that these promotions are often disclosed as paid and therefore the creator at the helm is admitting to accepting money for their job. Can you imagine a world where people get paid for services and doing their job?!
Along the same vein as this, people seem to think that content creators will work for exposure. Well, I'll be the first to tell you that EXPOSURE DOES NOT PAY THE BILLS. As all content creators will tell you exposure is bullshit. It's great when you're starting out to get your name out there, but eventually a person's got to live and no amount of exposure is going to pay your rent, bills, or anything else. I don't understand why when it comes to social media and content creation, people are baffled that someone would post a photo and collaborate with a brand for money. It's just a different work life than what is traditional and anyone would be crazy not to take 100s of dollars for a simple Instagram post - especially if it's a product you're already using. Also it's LISTERINE, she's effectively promoting healthy gums here, people.
Lastly, on the topic of paid partnerships... why is it so hard for people to accept a blogger with balloons in her bedroom promoting Listerine but are readily accepting Jennifer Lawrence in a ballgown getting out of a pool promoting perfume? I know if I get the opportunity to do a paid partnership with someone that I'm going to want to channel my inner perfume/car/pen advertisement and make it a little more eye-catching than what real life is. That's just business, right?
Anyway friends, I have SO many more opinions to share on the topic of whether or not Instagram is as toxic as the helicopter parents and traditional media is set out to prove and other social media things... but that's a conversation for another time. For now, let me know in the comments what you think of Scarlett's controversy and if you believe she's a "monster" for accepting money for doing her job as a creator.
Until next time,