Media nowadays is about as common in our day to day life as eating, or showering – sometimes more common for online gaming people or those on a Netflix marathon who refuse to leave their room to shower or feed themselves, but I won’t go into that too much. When online shopping became available it was the best thing since sliced bread, for many people. In present time, you can buy your groceries online, buy cars and have them shipped to your doorstep, or more commonly buy material goods through various online shopping outlets.
Online media outlets such as Tumblr and Instagram have more recently become a lot more accessible to promoting and advertising products. This is where the ‘Insta-model,’ comes into play. An Instagram ‘model’ is someone who has acquired over 5k in followers generally and tend to often post photos appealing to people of similar interests – much what the purpose of Instagram is for. However, PR companies and smaller businesses have relished in the opportunity to send free samples of their products to these popular accounts to take photographs and gain exposure for their company.
While this isn’t an extremely serious topic, Instagram can also be perceived as somewhat a ‘public sphere,’ where people can promote and extend their views to the public in just a snap and click of an image. I will personally admit – this new way of appealing to consumers via social media outlets though supermodels is effective – I just bought a pair of sunglasses because I saw they looked nice on Gigi Hadid, guilty as charged.
So whats in it for these ‘idols’ apart from the tonnes of free products? More exposure for them, too! Instagram gets people talking, and it definitely has. Models such as Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid are just as popular from their social media sites as from their catwalk shows and prints. Some of these social media ‘super heroes’ are charging $20,000 for one photograph! Van Badham (2014), a Melbourne theater major found “it’s such a compact medium, and whatever is on your mind, you communicate, I’m a person with political opinions and I found myself in a place where I could have a political conversation that I couldn’t have at work. Basically, I was letting it rip and developed a following.” This is just a prime example of how Instagram and Twitter are used in the modern society to promote ideologies, thoughts and even material items – the output of images and text from a celebrity easily gains a following by millions.
People are interested in what Instagram idols have to say, which is quite scary! Anything can be said online, and with everyone following everyone, it’s not always easy to decipher how they would respond. The fashion industry has blown up over the years due to social media, with sales sky-rocketing after promotions via Instagram. “Customers don’t care any more about hard-copy publications. They care what picture Rihanna just Instagrammed while she’s naked in bed, what new shoes she has on, how she’s talking about them. That’s what they respond to.” (Tom Ford, 2013)