The Dark Side of Ego + Influence
We live in a digital age, that is not going to change anytime soon. I always say it's hard to be the first to do things because you are guaranteed to make mistakes and people are very quick to judge the steps you take while being able to learn from what you've done. If you would have told me 10-15 years ago that people could make a living from being an "influencer" I would have said you were lying. The truth is that only movie stars and those in the entertainment business had the option of being an influencer but now anyone with a camera can share their voice and story thanks t blogs, youtube etc.
In the words of Uncle Ben "With great power comes great responsibility" Far too often people wield this power of influence without a thought of how it would affect the person on the other end of it. Social media was created to make us feel connected but without tangibly seeing the person in front of you, people tend to spew out things that are unfounded and people take it as gospel
Now there have been instances when people are presented with facts and their ego makes them double down and not apologize for their wrongdoing. Let's look at two examples in the beauty industry that has happened in the last few weeks as an example.
The Jaclyn hill lip-pocalypse - When a brand is named after the creator it can be hard for the creator to separate constructive criticism from themselves. Now I will say that I have met Jaclyn in real life in a non-meet and greet setting and she was very sweet. However, the way that the business of her lipsticks has been handled it's egregious. I personally have purchased four lipsticks and immediately I began to see people reporting foreign objects/contaminants in them. (you can look at youtube now and find people coming forward every day with more. Just recently I saw one where she found METAL in her lipsticks) Jaclyn herself took a week to reply to it all. In her video she was on the defense and didn't apologize, she also stated that her lipsticks were 100% safe to use and did not issue a recall. There have been accusations that her lipsticks have cut, caused breakouts etc and even if it was only 1% off the people that purchased as her business stated. That is still a lot and should not have happened. I even found contaminants in my own lipsticks and currently have not received an email back and I will not be getting a refund on the shipping that I paid to send the lipstick to me or the shipping paid to send it back. This is a dark side of influence because she had such a large platform that she is willing to ignore that 1% that IS having problems and instead double down and says they are safe to use. People have called out this business with PICTURES showing the less than stellar lipsticks and still, this business has not recalled these lipsticks. I am sure that when you create a business and wait for five years to have to launch it because of things going on behind the scenes it can feel like an attack when you don't have rave reviews across the board however when you influence its important to hear your customer and make changes and stop making excuses.
The first example is unique because it's an influencer turned business owner. Having a huge platform is something that few people get to experience and there is no handbook on how to deal with it. When you encounter a hurdle in business, you should never come on camera as defensive, if your customers say there is something wrong then address, that's it.
“There is power behind our words and for those who have a large platform,
it is imperative that you recognize that power and wield it in a constructive way. ”
2. Alissa Ashley & Jackie Aina vs. Juvia place Now this one is just downright ego going all over the place. The rundown is that Juvia Place released some foundations and Alissa felt that she should use her influence and "tell her truth" about the owner but the facts were not shared. Alissa tweeted out that Juvia place doesn't send out PR to black influencers. The truth - THEY DO! there are black influencers that work with her. It's ok not to work with every company. Now Alissa argument was that they refused to work with her and NOW that they have a complexion line they want to work with black influencers. Well, Jackie Aina chmined in and co-signed this. I miss the days when people would just write in their journal and not on twitter.
I get it, The followers of both these influencers wanted to know why they were not reviewing the products. It could have simply been said that for personal reasons you don't work with the company. That is ALL that needed to be said. There was no need to do all this because she felts wronged. Feelings are not facts. Let's talk about facts, Juvia place has some bad customer service and shipping issues. Those are the facts and that is something that can be changed. But to mess with someone's lively hood over PR and being asked to review a new launch.... A simple no would have done wonders as well as just saying you will not review for personal reasons.
Because these two people used their platforms it then started a bully campaign by their followers. People with influence over this millions of people fail to realize that they just can spout off stuff. Yes, we are all human but some things need to be left at the kitchen table with your close friends and not broadcast all over the internet where it can AND WILL affect someone life and how they take care of their family. I will say that Two wrongs don't make a right and this morning the owner of Juvia Place Chichi has gone on a Twitter rant of her own and called out Jackie for her morality as well as not speaking up for black people. Its a whole mess but I understand it because this is her life and she is being attacked and the money that she uses to support her family is on the line. I hope that these women can figure out a way to co-exist in this beauty space and be cordial with one another.
I ask where is the line between ego and influence? Yes, we should as consumers be able to call out a business for faulty business practices and we hope that the business will change. But when we get upset because a business at one time didn't want to work with us and then ask us to review a product the best thing to do is simply say no and move on. There is no need to try and be petty and air out dirty laundry. People take influencers word as gospel and are so quick to cancel someone without having any facts or even looking up for themselves to see if what's being said is true. We need to do better! I am only 36 and have the experience of seeing what life was like before and after social media. sometimes we need to take a second and remove our ego before hitting that send button.
There is power behind our words and for those who have a large platform, it is
imperative that you recognize that power and wield it in a constructive way.