Does Covid-19 mean the end of influencer culture?

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By Motsi Macheka

This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 3 of VARSITY News.


In the past couple of weeks Covid-19 has brought many industries, including the influencer space, to a standstill. As the majority of the population have used this time to gain perspective on what really matters in life, celebrities and influencers have found themselves in a limbo and have had to contemplate one big question: when your entire life revolves around constant public attention, how does one adapt to changes when this attention is averted during a worldwide crisis? More importantly, is there truly a social necessity for this brand of people?


Since the beginning of the pandemic, social media users have been hyper-aware of the activities of their favorite celebs and influencers with a critical eye. Unsurprisingly, our timelines have been flooded with tone-deaf and insensitive posts such as Ellen DeGeneres complaining that her multimillion- dollar mansion is like a “prison” and the likes of Gal Gadot and friends singing “Imagine” in order to “lift the spirits of the public”. It seems as though these people have realised that fame and riches does not exempt them from the pandemic and have gone through embarrassing lengths to prove their relatability to the general public.


As those mentioned above, as well as many more, continue to complain amongst their riches and post throwback photos of their lavish beach vacations while thousands continue to die, we are further shown the narcissism, selfishness and detachment of our favorite stars as well as how little they actually contribute to the greater society.


The pandemic has ultimately changed the public’s relationship with these people as we are forced to remove our rose-colored glasses and come to the realisation that influencer and celebrity culture is obsolete. Post-pandemic, we may see the end of celebrity/influencer culture as we know or at the least, a huge overhaul in who is given a platform as well as the values we seek in these people.



This section of VARSITY is a vehicle for expression on any topic by members of the UCT community. The opinions within this section are not necessarily those of the VARSITY collective or its advertisers.

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