When I was in my mid-twenties, I read Life & Style magazine religiously. Every week at the grocery store, when I was in line at the checkout, I would pick it up out of the rack and start to skim through it. Then that night, I would devour the whole thing in one sitting. The magazine gave me insight into the latest fashion trends and celebrity gossip. Now, my mid-twenties was when social media was just beginning to emerge. Only celebrities were influencers, and we didn’t endlessly scroll Instagram and TikTok. Instead, we watched regular television and read magazines—That’s where we found out about the latest and greatest items and trends.
Even though I was exposed to less advertising at that time, I was obsessed with designer clothes. Marc Jacobs was my brand. I wanted it all—the bags, jeans, and dresses. I would drive to Nordstroms just to look and try on all the pieces I wanted. But could I afford any of it? No. So sadly, I would walk away empty-handed. That’s when I found eBay. That magical website allowed me to buy a pair of Marc Jacobs jeans, a dress, and some jewelry at a price I could afford. They may have been several seasons old, but who cared. It was freakin Marc Jacobs, and they were mine! Should I admit that I bought a black LNA zip-up hoodie just because Robert Pattinson was spotted wearing the exact same one? Or how excited I was when I went to Los Angeles to visit family, and I convinced them to take me to Kitson so I could shop at the same store as my favorite celebrities. Don’t even get me started on Von Dutch.
Sometime later, it hit me. Why was I so into what brands my favorite actors were wearing, but the people around me, the ones I was trying to impress, didn’t care? Then I realized I only cared about designer clothes because of the magazine I was reading. So that day, I stopped reading my beloved magazine. And shortly after I stopped looking at what all the celebrities are wearing, I too stopped caring. You guys, advertising works!
I’m thankful I learned that lesson when I was much younger because today, thanks to social media, we have a constant stream of advertising in front of us. Not only are celebrities telling us what to buy and wear. We now have all these social media influencers hawking products at us. Sometimes it’s hard to know that they are selling us something. They do it more subtly. For instance, our favorite beauty guru shows us products that they use in their personal lives, and we, too, want that same glowy skin they have. So they tell us just to click the affiliate link or use their promo code, and you too can buy this product at a discount. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for supporting the little guy and using their links if we genuinely need the product. But I’m pretty sure we do not need 99% of the items we click on and buy.
What I’m trying to say is open your eyes. See that it’s all just advertising. That they are doing their job and trying to make a living. The only reason these influencers are “influencers” is because it works. So don’t get caught up in the marketing scheme and buy these products you don’t need with money you don’t have to impress people who don’t care.