Teenagers in the Spotlight

McKenna White, Co-Editor-In-Chief

    Being an influencer may seem like the ideal career to their thousands of followers, but in reality, it can be a very time-consuming and stressful job. Forbes magazine found that 47% of surveyed influencers admitted that being an influencer had a negative effect on their mental health. While the idea of traveling and taking photos may seem like a breeze, influencers have to spend hours calculating what to post and when. They also have to be continuously cognizant of their fan-base and whether it is growing or shrinking. Now more than ever being an influencer is not exclusively for attractive 20-year-olds, the influencer lifestyle is increasingly attracting younger celebrities, often in their early teens. 

    Sixteen-year-old Charli D’Amelio is the most followed individual on the popular site TikTok. D’Amelio is known for her dancing videos that have gotten her almost 100 million followers. However, D’Amelio has recently opened up about the effect that negative comments have had on her mental health, saying You never know what is going in someone’s head because I put on a very, very happy face last year, but I was probably at the lowest point in my life, but no one would have known because I kept it a secret from the internet.”

    One negative impact of influencers that is often pointed out is the unrealistic beauty standards that they portray. These ideals can impact both male and female viewers. However, the influencers themselves can also struggle with a negative body image. In a study done by Inzpire.me, they found that 32 percent of influencers surveyed felt that their respective platform had a negative impact on their perceived body image. This harmful impact is often magnified with teenage influencers. D’Amelio, among others, has been outspoken about her history with an eating disorder and the effect that other’s opinions have had on her own body image. 

     With platforms like TikTok which are a relatively easy way to amass a following, some of the more famous users have put their education on hold. Two notable users, Noah Beck and Addison Rae, have decided not to pursue higher education at this point in their lives. According to News Break, Rae decided to drop out of Louisiana State University, where she had been studying sports broadcasting, because she felt as if she was missing out on potential opportunities.

    One of the pros of apps like Instagram, Youtube, and TikTok is that they are free to use. Anyone can sign up, and anyone can potentially become famous if they have a unique skill or trait. While the initial start-up is free, the cost of being an influencer can quickly add up. Most influencers have a certain brand that they present to their fans. This brand often involves dressing a certain way. Asiaone asked five influencers how much they spent on clothes per month. Their answers ranged from 200 to 500 dollars. Aside from clothes, influencers also have to hire photographers, which can cost hundreds of dollars, and book plane tickets. While the goal is that the return on investment will be worth it, being an influencer can be financially draining, especially for a teenager.  

    There is more to being an influencer than what meets the eye. With this new wave of teenaged influencers, the mental, financial, physical educational effects are being put on display. Whether being a teenage influencer is a good idea or not, there are certainly many aspects, with potentially negative consequences, to take into consideration.