Us and Them: Influencers and Their Followers

Opening Instagram can be overwhelming at the worst of times, but during a global pandemic? Gut wrenching. Whilst millions of people have been dying throughout the world due to Covid-19, some of our favourite influencers and celebrities have been ramming products, holidays and events down our throats. There has always been a well established divide between influencers and celebrities and their fans and followers, but over the past year, this divide couldn’t be clearer. 

It’s a punch in the teeth, watching celebrities such as American beauty guru, Nikita Dragun, host a party jam packed with hundreds of other influencers, whilst the rest of the world is trying to get through day to day life. It is a sign of the times that money buys privilege, permitting arrogant and ignorant behaviour during a Pandemic. Yet, we still look up to these people, our backs breaking under the platform we have provided them with, scrolling on our phones for the next recommended purchase.

Nikita Dragun claimed that all of her guests were tested upon entry to her party. It speaks volumes that she can use her money to buy rapid Covid tests without batting an eye for hundreds of guests, yet some people have had to beg their doctors to test them. During the time of the party, LA was suffering with a lack of ICU beds in it’s hospitals, struggling to cope under the pressure of the pandemic and the demand in care of patients. How could it be that the same city with such a lack of resources, could be the same city where influencers and celebrities are partying, seemingly without any repercussions? 

The same attitude goes for UK influencers. One YouTuber came under fire for claiming that she was working in Dubai, when in reality, she holidayed in a luxury resort. KT Franklin, on arrival back to the UK, failed to apologise to her followers. She was only sorry once she was caught, and in trying to save her livelihood, apologised. This behaviour is again a reflection of how accessible it is for influencers to escape the reality of this disease, which is holding the majority of our lives at a standstill.

It seems a repulsive idea that wealthy people view Covid tests as a commodity to be bought, rather than a vital medical necessity. In March 2020, doctors in the UK were begging the Government to prioritise testing them for Covid-19, forcing frontline health workers to choose between missing work and therefore slowing coronavirus treatment, or risk going into work with a minor cough, that unknown to them, could have been the deadly disease. 

Similarly, celebrities such as Dua Lipa and Rita Ora have come under fire for breaking numerous lockdown rules. Dua Lipa posts on her Instagram from what seems a new location every week, where Rita Ora hires and pays off restaurants to host birthday parties, yet still appears on a primetime Saturday night TV show. 

Considering Dua Lipa posted about the importance of staying home in 2020, she sure hasn’t seemed to have taken a lot of her own advice, jetting off all over the world with her boyfriend, Anwar Hadid, who has previously expressed vaccine skepticism in a previous Instagram story, and partying in groups in various locations. Her behaviour reinforces the lack of awareness some celebrities have of their privilege , especially during trying times. It seems to be one rule for them, and another for us.  

Instead of preventing the spread of Covid-19, these influencers and celebrities are enabling a culture where travelling, socialising and breaking lockdown rules has become the norm and it seems not enough people are outraged about their behaviour. They continue to establish a divide between us and them, and the most ironic part is, I’m sure they will be queuing up for their vaccine pretty soon. 

Words by Faye Wasilowski

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