Pride and Prejudice

.Laurel Autumn Winter 2017 | Blogger campaign | Fashion Editorial Shooting inside Bayerischer Hof, Munich | Masha Sedgwick & Viktoria Rader

‘So… why should anyone enter apprenticeship or training for a job, when you can make money with this superfluous internet stuff these days’

Laurel Autumn Winter 2017 | Blogger campaign | Fashion Editorial Shooting inside Bayerischer Hof, Munich | Masha Sedgwick & Viktoria Rader

‘I don’t define myself like that… this whole ‘influencers’ thing worries me, I think it’s pointless and definitely wasn’t necessary 20-30 years ago…. nobody needs that stuff. Presenting this like a real job seems pretty ridiculous to me.’

Laurel Autumn Winter 2017 | Blogger campaign | Fashion Editorial Shooting inside Bayerischer Hof, Munich | Masha Sedgwick & Viktoria Rader

‘I think it’s alright to call some people diseases.’

‘Once a young woman told me she was a fashion blogger. My answer was: I see, and what do you do for a living?’

‘Mother nature, please send us a solar storm, a total electricity blackout, and let these fools do real work for once’

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This post is also available in German Russian

‘It’s spreading like a flu!! How do you call this group of people in German???’

‘Influencer isn’t that much better than influenza’

‘Things the world definitely doesn’t need: influencer!’

Laurel Autumn Winter 2017 | Blogger campaign | Fashion Editorial Shooting inside Bayerischer Hof, Munich | Masha Sedgwick & Viktoria Rader

These were all comments I read on Facebook recently, under a post about influencers – and I was shocked. I was aware that influencers are not necessarily that popular in large parts of society, but to call human beings diseases – that goes too far. And yet, influencer-bashing is apparently an accepted phenomenon, almost a national sport. Influencer-bashing has taken hold in all parts of society. Even Sophia Thomalla, who in my opinion is walking on really thin ice in that respect, joins the new national pass-time and adds her own ‘witty’ comments at every opportunity.
 
Some days it seems like influencers have become scapegoats for everything that’s wrong with the world right now. As far as the negative image is concerned, it’s a tight race between influencers, bankers and politicians, or so it seems sometimes. Who does more to debase society? Fingerpointing is popular, and influencers are a trendy target.

Laurel Autumn Winter 2017 | Blogger campaign | Fashion Editorial Shooting inside Bayerischer Hof, Munich | Masha Sedgwick & Viktoria Rader

Of course there’s nothing wrong with being annoyed with a certain profession, nothing wrong with making fun. But to a point. We are not talking about experienced lobbyists here, trained and coached to withstand shitstorms. We are talking about mostly young girls, which are compared to diseases by (supposed) grown-ups, often twice as old as their targets. If anything is sick here, it’s this dynamic. It affects me, deeply.
 
How could it not?
 
Seriously: what are these young women doing that justifies this outpouring of hate and rejection? Doe they hurt anyone with their selfies, are they forcing anyone to read their stories of consumption? I don’t understand how the hate towards influencers can be so generalized. Or is it all envy? Is Instagram really the end-boss here?

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This post is also available in German Russian

‘Influencers don’t do real work.’

This is probably my favorite prejudice of the whole bunch. First of all, who defines ‘real’ work? Are athletes or actors doeng ‘real’ work then?
 
Every month I pay a ton of taxes, contributing my substantial share to society. And still my job, which generates these taxes, is not ‘real’ work?
 
This is not a text about lack of recognition, I get a lot of it. What I’m saying is that you cannot call people diseases. The spitefulness towards influencers has just stooped to new lows.

Can you imagine how frustrating it is to be working your ass off and then to keep hearing that what you do is not ‘real work’? Well, sorry for doing something I like, maybe I should apologize for even earning money with it? I mean, isn’t that crazy? Looks like I’m breaking the unwritten law that work is not supposed to be fun, ever.
 
I can tell you, now that I am on the road so much, meeting so many new people every day, I am confronted with prejudices more than ever. And my own reaction ticks me off, too, how small my voice sometimes gets when I get asked what I do and reply that I’m an influencer – often enough I follow it up with some kind of justification.

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This post is also available in German Russian

But there is so much to be proud of. After all, I’m doing something I genuinely love, and manage to make a living like that. I feel a purpose in life, and I get to travel the planet. Why shouldn’t I be proud of that? Why does the term influencer have such a bitter after-taste, even for me?

Laurel Autumn Winter 2017 | Blogger campaign | Fashion Editorial Shooting inside Bayerischer Hof, Munich | Masha Sedgwick & Viktoria Rader

Laurel Autumn Winter 2017 | Blogger campaign | Fashion Editorial Shooting inside Bayerischer Hof, Munich | Masha Sedgwick & Viktoria Rader

All this reminds me of a degrading episode in my life. Back in the day, when I worked part time at a H&M till for 8 EUR per hour, all to finance my studies, a lady who was cuing with her daughter pointed at me and told her girl: ‘Look, this is how you’ll end up if you continue getting bad marks at school.’.
 
In her eyes, I was a failed existence. A cautionary example.
 
In my eyes, I was a student of economics, somehow trying to get by without financial support from my parents or stipends.

Laurel Autumn Winter 2017 | Blogger campaign | Fashion Editorial Shooting inside Bayerischer Hof, Munich | Masha Sedgwick & Viktoria Rader

Then, as now, I found it difficult to simply be proud of my achievements.
 
And it’s not exactly made easy in a society where everyone seems obsessed with claiming some kind of moral high ground over others. In such an environment, pride and authenticity seem mutually exclusive. Yes, a disease is spreading in our society. And yes, we have to change things – and that definitely includes us influencers.
 
But scapegoating young people will not cure anything here.

Laurel Autumn Winter 2017 | Blogger campaign | Fashion Editorial Shooting inside Bayerischer Hof, Munich | Masha Sedgwick & Viktoria Rader

Outfit: Laurel
other Blogger: Viktoria Rader
Photos: Theresa Kaindl

This post is also available in German Russian



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11 Comments


  1. Ich finde es auch unmöglich, was manche Menschen sich rausnehmen. Die durchs Social Web enstandene Öffentlichkeit hat leider nicht nur gute Seiten. Schließlich muss man sich jetzt tatsächlich mit allen Wortmeldungen auseinandersetzen. Also müssen … ist natürlich relativ. Aber wenn ich derlei Kommentare lese, finde ich sie nicht nur entbehrlich, nein, ich muss sie einfach reflektieren. Gerade sowas sagt doch wahnsinnig viel über Menschen und die Gesellschaft als solche aus.

    Ich warte übrigens immer sehnsüchtig auf euren Podcast und höre ihn jede Woche ganz gemütlich mit einem Glas Wein in der Badewanne. Dieses Mal hatte ich aber das Gefühl, dass ihr ein wenig aneinander vorbeigeredet habt und irgendwie generell etwas neben der Spur wart? Kommt aber natürlich vor und ist auch nicht tragisch. Was mich aber schon etwas gestört hat und was ich im Sinne eines auch von euch angestrebten Dialogs gerne loswerden würde, war die Sache mit wenigen Instagram-Followern und dennoch hochwertigem bzw. professionell produziertem Content. Da fand ich es irgendwie schade, dass ihr da beide nicht ein Stück weiter reflektiert habt, denn ich weiß aus eigener Erfahrung, dass das eine das andere einfach nicht ausschließt und keinesfalls etwas mit einem übertriebenen, vielleicht ungesunden Bedürfnis an Selbstdarstellung zu tun hat. Und das nicht nur deshalb, weil jedem sein Spaß an welcher Sache auch immer zusteht, sondern weil gerade in der digitalen Welt so viele Grenzen verschwimmen.

    So produziere ich auf meinem eigenen kleinen Blog doch hochwertige Fotos und Texte, obwohl es eigentlich nicht mein Ziel ist, als Influencer tätig zu sein bzw. zu werden. Einfach deshalb, weil es für mich eine grandiose Plattform ist, mich kreativ auszutoben, mein Hobby noch ein Stück mehr mit meinem Beruf zu verbinden und tolle Kontakte für spannende Kooperationen und Projekte fernab der Blogosphäre zu knüpfen. Das wären beispielsweise Fotoaufträge oder Texte für unterschiedlichste Magazine, Online-Plattformen, Zeitschriften im Printbereich, usw. zu denen es ohne meinen Blog gar nicht gekommen wäre.

    Es kommt halt immer darauf an, wo der Fokus liegt, wen man mit seiner Arbeit ansprechen möchte und wohin die Reise gehen soll. Da pauschal zu äußern, es stünde eventuell schlecht um unsere Gesellschaft, weil jeder Zweite das Bedürfnis hat, sich übertrieben selbst zu vermarkten, halte ich genauso wenig für angemessen, wie Influencern die Pest an den Hals zu wünschen. Natürlich nicht für so hart aber eben für genauso wenig angemessen und etwas anmaßend.

    Ich will da jetzt auch kein Fass aufmachen, sondern es es nur mal kurz eingeworfen haben und der Diskussion so vielleicht noch mal eine andere Perspektive verpassen :)

    Reply

  2. You know, Masha, I think there’s some degree of confusion between disliking the word “influencer” and the actual work that people like you do. Everybody reads (or at least looks at) blogs. Nobody twists people’s arms to do it, right? It’s a form of entertainment and a way to find information and inspiration. It’s not very different from reading magazines if you think about it. Yet, nobody seems to bash journalists, photographers or editors who work for magazines. Why? Because those words don’t imply annoying brainwashing, even if those people are guilty of it to a certain degree (let’s be honest here, everybody makes a buck off some advertising). So don’t take it personally. Don’t call yourself an influencer (I don’t like that word either by the way). Call yourself a writer or a journalist. Educate people who don’t think you do real work. Or don’t bother – it can be hard to open closed minds… My point is: there are a lot of people who enjoy what you do. Just do your work for them. The rest can go fly a kite.

    Reply

  3. Oh Masha ich liebe deine Beiträge und finde sie werden von Woche zu Woche besser. Ich muss ganz ehrlich sagen, dass ich bei diesem Thema etwas hin und her gerissen bin. Als Blogger verstehe ich die eine Seite – aber ich kann den Neid der Leser auch verstehen. Aber ich denke (wie du so schön sagst) das ist bei Athleten, Sängern und Schauspielern ja eigentlich nicht anders.

    Hab ein tolles Wochenende und KEEP ON ROCKING!

    Love, Kerstin
    http://www.missgetaway.com

    Reply

    1. Danke Kerstin!
      Ja, ich habe auch irgendwo Verständnis, aber nur bis zu einem gewissen Punkt und manche Kommentare überschreiten den einfach :D

      Reply

  4. It’s weird, but lately it feels like even bloggers are hating on the word ” influencer” now. Ironic, considering that as bloggers they do have the power to influence, hence, they are…influencers.

    I likened this phenomena to how some people misuse the word “feminism”; both are words of power and empowerment that are of good. Yet people try to twist the true meaning of the words.

    All I can say is, keep your chin up and be proud of the good work and content you’re producing, Masha! A reminder: you’re a real inspiration to many readers, including me <3

    Reply

  5. There is not much difference between being a blogger than being a journalist – well, actually, blogging may require extra skills a journalist does not need (posing for pics, anyone?). Same as there is not much difference between being a vlogger and working in the TV business. We’re seeing traditional media replaced with mini-sourced media and that is ok.
    But then again people bitch about media employees too, so :)

    Reply

  6. Dear Masha,

    I honestly think the majority of the extremely negative and often harsh criticism that flows the way of influencers stems from jealousy. How dare young women work independently, travel the work, wear beautiful clothes and finance themselves doing a job they love! People find it too good to be true. They are happy to pick holes in something that realistically they would never have the balls to do.

    To quit their job, or stop doing a job they do not actually like to follow their passion in the hope to make enough income to live on. I highly doubt these keyboard warriors would be so bold as to do such a thing. Behind and before the glamour shown on Instagram or on a blog, there is hard work or perhaps worry about where rent money will come from. Most people need a reliable steady income. It is pretty easy to criticise someone however it says more about the critic than the person they are verbally abusing.

    I get the feeling quiet or embarrassed or that you have to justify yourself. But do not fret that happens in all professions. There will always be someone who thinks they are superior to you, frankly I pity them and their tinie tiny minds. :D

    Louise
    X

    Reply
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