Self Help

Swipe Up for More! Inside the Unfiltered Lives of Influencers - Stephanie McNeal

Author Photo

Matheus Puppe

· 35 min read



  • The author takes a trip to Utah to visit Mormon mommy blogger Shannon Bird, who she has been following and writing about for years.

  • Shannon lives in the affluent suburb of Alpine, Utah, which is considered the epicenter of Mormon influencer culture. Many famous bloggers and influencers live in the area.

  • Shannon gives the author a tour of the neighborhood, pointing out the lavish homes of influential bloggers like Rachel Parcell of Pink Peonies.

  • While some bloggers curate polished, aspirational content, Shannon’s feed is messier and shows her kids acting like real kids. She enjoys entertaining content over perfection.

  • Shannon has faced significant Internet criticism and mockery over the years for her style of blogging. However, she doesn’t let the negativity bother her.

  • The tour provides a glimpse into the world of Mormon influencers that the author has long studied and followed online. Seeing it in person makes it feel both familiar and foreign compared to viewing it virtually.

In summary, the passage describes the author’s experience visiting Shannon Bird, a controversial Mormon mommy blogger, in her Utah neighborhood and getting a glimpse into the world of influential Mormon influencer culture that thrives in the area.

  • The passage discusses a tour the author took of lavish, mansion-style homes belonging to influencers and tech executives in the town of Alpine, Utah.

  • The town has experienced rapid growth and wealth due to the tech boom in nearby Salt Lake City, with companies like and headquartered nearby. Influencers have also driven money into the area.

  • The author describes visiting homes of influencers like Rachel Parcell and Shea McGee. She reflects on how heavily influencers have influenced her own home decor and lifestyle choices over the years.

  • The author notes her fascination with influencers stems from her nosy nature and curiosity about their lives. She became a journalist covering influencers because no one in mainstream media was seriously reporting on them at the time.

  • The passage draws a distinction between “video creators” like YouTubers and “influencers” whose content is more akin to magazines than entertainment videos. Influencers cultivate long-term loyalty through consistent lifestyle content across platforms like blogs and Instagram.

So in summary, it explores the influence and wealth of influencer culture through a home tour in Utah, and the author’s personal interest and career focus on reporting on influencers.

  • The blogger and Instagram influencer industry was dominated by women creating content around fashion, beauty, parenting, lifestyle, etc. but this type of content was seen as less respectable and taken less seriously by mainstream media.

  • Factors contributing to the lack of attention include the platforms Instagram focused on, the fact that YouTube allowed for more visibility and profit potential, and the biases against feminine or “women’s” topics.

  • The blogger industry was perceived negatively due to misconceptions that influencers are narcissistic and materialistic. However, influencers argue this work takes skill and effort.

  • Women influencers especially feel their work is disrespected due to misogyny against a female-dominated industry.

  • The author interviewed 20 influencers anonymously who complained about struggles to be taken seriously and negative public perceptions.

  • The book aims to analyze the multibillion dollar influencer industry, explore what the career is really like, and how it has impacted culture by following 3 different types of influencers over 2 years.

Here are the key points from the summary:

  • Mirna Valerio is a plus-size Black content creator and athlete who has become an influential figure promoting health, wellness and diversity in fitness.

  • She grew up in Brooklyn and spent years teaching before focusing full-time on creating content and sponsorships. She has over 100k followers who are very loyal.

  • In her 20s and 30s she hustled tremendously between multiple jobs and grad school, sacrificing her own health. She had a panic attack at age 33 that was a wake-up call.

  • She started the blog Fat Girl Running in 2011 to celebrate her love of running for health and mental wellness, not weight loss or speed.

  • She disrupted the thin, fast stereotype of running bloggers and was featured in Runner’s World and the Wall Street Journal, becoming a champion for inclusive fitness.

  • Mirna inspires people to pursue health and be active in their own way, rejecting narrow fitness ideals. She has become very valuable to brands she works with through her influence.

  • Mirna Victoria grew her social media following and career as a plus-size influencer after being featured in a newspaper article about her blog on fitness and wellness for plus-size women.

  • She was working as a teacher and coach at a boarding school in rural Georgia when the article came out, kickstarting her social media career.

  • Over time, Mirna built her following while continuing her teaching job. Brands began reaching out to her for partnerships and sponsorships.

  • In 2017, a high-paying partnership convinced Mirna she could make this her full-time career. She resigned from teaching and began focusing on influencing, writing, and public speaking.

  • Mirna now lives in Vermont with her teenage son. Her career is thriving with major brand partnerships and sponsorships. She educates others through her social media platforms and motivational talks.

  • The summary provides context about how Mirna transitioned from teaching to full-time influencing and the success she’s found in her new career and location in Vermont.

  • Caitlin started a blog called Southern Curls & Pearls to describe herself as Southern, having long curly hair, and liking pearls. This became the name of her successful blog.

  • In her first post at age 20, she introduced herself as a daughter, sister, journalist, writer, fitness enthusiast, southern girl who loves frozen yogurt, the beach, her sorority, and shopping.

  • Her blog grew quickly due to her relatable nature as a “normal, everyday girl” who made her blog visually appealing.

  • After college, Caitlin’s dream was to work for a magazine in New York but faced rejection after rejection. When she got a job offer for $27k, her parents said it wasn’t enough to live on in New York.

  • Caitlin then took a $28k PR job in Greenville, SC. She found early blogging success and realizes she was able to do what she originally wanted - be an editor and stylist - by creating opportunities herself through her blog.

  • Mirna was offered $40,000 to appear in a commercial for Merrell shoes, nearly her annual teaching salary. She would have done it for free.

  • The deal fell through but Merrell offered her an ambassador role instead - free gear, travel, and comped race fees.

  • In her hotel room, Mirna worried this wasn’t her scene and these weren’t her people. She didn’t feel like she belonged.

  • Her agent Margaux told her she did belong and could speak to people like her - Black people, overweight people, etc. who don’t typically see themselves represented.

  • Mirna realized she could offer value by representing audiences like average exercisers, not just models/athletes. Companies wanted to reach these audiences.

  • In the 2010s, companies realized influencer marketing through relatable people like Mirna could be more powerful than celebrity endorsements. When Mirna recommends a product to her followers, it feels like a friend’s recommendation.

  • The author interned at an early influencer marketing agency, Talent Resources, in 2010. They facilitated endorsement deals between brands and C/D-list celebrities, having the celebs showcase products for payment.

  • This was one of the first examples of sponsored content/influencer marketing. It laid the groundwork for the influencer marketing industry today, now valued at $16 billion annually.

  • Caitlin started a fashion and lifestyle blog after graduating college, as she wasn’t fully happy with her PR job. The blog was an outlet for her creativity.

  • Her blog grew in popularity through social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. She began getting contacted by small boutiques wanting her to promote their products.

  • At first, Caitlin accepted free clothing and products from brands to post about. However, a blogger friend advised her that she could charge companies for these promotional posts.

  • With help from her parents, Caitlin created a rate sheet that charged $80 for a blog post plus accompanying social media posts. Brands accepted her new business model.

  • This marked Caitlin’s transition from unpaid blogger to paid influencer. Her online presence and following allowed her to monetize her creative work through partnerships with fashion brands. It was pioneering a new type of influencer marketing industry.

  • Caitlin quit her day job to run her blog Southern Curls & Pearls full-time after it started earning more money than her job. She was going through a breakup at the time and needed a change.

  • Starting blogging full-time was a big risk but her father encouraged her to take the leap. She worked extremely hard, around 100 hours a week, and found success.

  • Amber Venz Box also started a fashion blog called VENZEDITS after struggling to break into the traditional fashion industry. She realized bloggers were influencers but weren’t getting paid for the sales they drove.

  • Amber founded RewardStyle in 2011 to connect bloggers/influencers with retailers and give them a commission for any sales from their links. It took time to gain traction but became hugely successful, generating billions in sales.

  • RewardStyle was acquired by and Amber’s company is now valued at $2 billion, making over 130 women millionaires. It revolutionized how influencer marketing works.

So in summary, both Caitlin and Amber took career risks by quitting their jobs to blog full-time, through hard work found success, and Amber in particular transformed the influencer industry through RewardStyle.

  • The post describes early days of influencer marketing when it was the “Wild West” with no rules or standards. Influencers were flooded with sponsorships and affiliation opportunities.

  • Mirna, a fitness influencer and teacher, unexpectedly found success on social media which led to brand deals. As one of the pioneers, she had to figure things out on her own with no training. Her first deal paid $5,000 which she thought was good without negotiating.

  • Over time, Mirna educated herself on engagement metrics and learned to negotiate higher fees. She wanted to help other influencers avoid being taken advantage of. For Mirna, influencing was a way to spread messages of diversity to wider audiences.

  • The post then shifts to describing a visit to Shannon Bird’s home. Though Shannon has a “zany mom” online persona, her home was very clean which surprised the author. Shannon hates clutter and was renovating her bedroom for more control over her surroundings.

  • Shannon found unexpected internet fame through mommy blogging but feels pressure from constant viewership of her life and criticism of her decisions over the past decade.

  • Shannon grew up in a Mormon community in Utah but never quite fit in due to her family’s more modest means and less strict adherence to Mormon social norms. She felt judged and singled out.

  • She went to college and vowed not to settle down in Utah, but ultimately met and married Dallin, who loved Utah, so they stayed.

  • Shannon started a mommy blog as an outlet and to stay connected with family since Dallin has many siblings. It grew in popularity over time.

  • Brands began sending her free products and sponsoring her in hopes of marketing to her readers. She received large volumes of expensive clothing, toys, accessories and other items for free.

  • She realized blogging could be financially lucrative and worked to grow her audience and platform. Over time she became one of the top Mormon influencers receiving constant free stuff.

  • There are questions around why Mormon mommy bloggers became so successful and influential. Dallin explained it’s due to ambitious Mormon women seeking outlets alongside cultural expectations to marry and have kids young. Blogging provided a way to pursue both.

  • Mormon mommy bloggers in Utah started blogging as a way to pursue their ambitions while still adhering to cultural expectations of staying home with children.

  • Shannon Bird struggled to get her parents’ support for college but wanted more. Blogging allowed her and others to work from home while raising families.

  • The blogging industry grew as women saw others like Rachel Parcell building careers from it. They realized it was attainable.

  • Mormon mommy bloggers were appealing to high-end brands because they projected a glamorous image of young, stylish mothers. Shannon dressed her baby head-to-toe in luxury brands.

  • Shannon made good money from sponsorships, around $16k per month at her peak. This supported her family finances and desire for independence.

  • Shannon plays up her messy, chaotic online persona but says real life is also quite hectic with many young children. Posting online helped her cope and find humor in the challenges of motherhood.

  • Shannon Bird’s Instagram feed was seen as more realistic and relatable compared to perfect curated feeds of other mom influencers. She showed messy moments and imperfections with her children.

  • Shannon began sharing more candid stories to be “real” with her followers, like a daughter dancing in a wet swimsuit instead of costume. This approach won her genuine fans but also haters.

  • Critics on forum Get Off My Internets (GOMI) mocked Shannon for being “bird-brained” and a “shit mom.” She faced backlash for openly discussing a miscarriage.

  • GOMI is a long-running notorious online forum where influencers and bloggers are ruthlessly snarked on and speculated about. It has a toxic culture and has become a pro-Trump forum.

  • The mysterious founder Alice Wright claims GOMI provides an outlet for opinions, though many see it as just cruel mocking. People who post prolifically seem drawn to needlessly criticizing others even if in an anonymous forum.

  • GOMI (Gearz Off, My Internets) was an influencer gossip forum that many people found entertaining at first as a place to discuss influencers they followed. However, it devolved over time into cruelty and wild speculation.

  • Many cited incidents where users made up conspiracy theories or speculated about influencers’ personal lives in genuinely mean ways. This made some posters uncomfortable.

  • Blogsnark was started on Reddit as some felt GOMI had become too toxic. However, some complained Blogsnark became too heavily moderated over time.

  • The constant criticism and harassment on forums takes a mental toll on influencers. They struggle with maintaining privacy and feeling like human beings rather than public personas.

  • Shannon Bird engages differently by not being bothered by criticism on GOMI and sometimes baiting critics. Her husband sees her online persona as partly a “quasi-contrarian” character she plays up for entertainment.

  • Authenticity is key for influencers, but it’s difficult to strike the right balance of being aspirational but also ordinary and relatable. Influencers often can’t win with critics no matter what they do.

So in summary, forums like GOMI started as gossip hubs but devolved into cruelty, while influencers struggle to maintain authenticity and privacy amid constant public criticism.

Caitlin has struggled with how authentic to be as an influencer and how much of her personal life to share. In the early days of her blog, she kept things very curated and aspirational, focusing on perfectly crafted photos and fashion content.

However, her followers started demanding more authenticity and insights into her real life. This pushed Caitlin out of her comfort zone, as she had built walls of self-protection after encountering trolls who criticized her looks, relationship and picked her life apart.

One experience that particularly hurt her was when anonymous commenters on a snark forum speculated wildly about issues in her relationship with her boyfriend Chris. This led Caitlin to keep her blog “strictly fashion” and avoid deeply personal topics.

Over time she has opened up more, but is still hesitant to fully let the world in due to past negative experiences. She has developed a thick skin but acknowledges it impacts how “real” she can be. Caitlin is now conflicted about how much to share as expectations of influencers have changed while her instincts are still to protect herself.

  • Caitlin is a successful Instagram influencer and lifestyle blogger who contributes significantly to her household income through her influencer career. However, many people assume her husband must have an amazing high-paying job since they live a luxurious lifestyle.

  • Caitlin is careful not to flaunt her wealth too much on social media in order to remain relatable to her followers. She doesn’t want people to see her just as a “rich girl” and lose the authentic connection she has built.

  • Being hugely successful but feeling she can’t fully enjoy the rewards of her success is a unique challenge of being an influencer. She worries showing off expensive purchases could alienate followers.

  • Influencers make a lot more money than most people expect. The overall influencer marketing industry is expected to be a $16.4 billion business in 2022. Influencers have various revenue streams like brand deals, affiliate commissions, and in Caitlin’s case, her own clothing line.

  • Instagram has not always supported influencers the way YouTube has its creators. Instagram only recently started programs for influencers to directly earn money on the platform, despite influencers driving much attention and revenue to Instagram over the years.

  • Traditional Instagram influencers felt Instagram’s TikTok clone “Reels” didn’t fit their content or audience, and that Instagram was trying to attract young Gen Z TikTok creators rather than reward long-time Instagram influencers.

  • In the absence of support from Instagram, the influencer industry evolved independently with influencers figuring out brand partnerships, pricing, and FTC guidelines on their own. Agencies and platforms like LTK emerged to help influencers.

  • Influencer managers like Caitlin’s manager Kirstin Enlow aim to get influencers paid what they deserve for their work. While some find influencer pay baffling, Enlow argues they should be paid similarly to celebrity endorsements.

  • Mirna had never mountain biked before but took it up through a sponsor partnership where she negotiated lessons in exchange for sponsored content. She has since fallen in love with the sport.

  • Mirna also took up skiing through a similar arrangement and now enjoys both activities genuinely while creating sponsored content for brands aligned with her interests.

  • Influencer marketing provides an 11x return on investment for brands compared to banner ads and brands earn over $5 for every $1 spent on average. Trust in influencers is high, especially among younger generations.

  • Influencer marketing is lucrative for both influencers and brands, costing companies much less than celebrity endorsements while still achieving a high ROI. Influencers handle more of the production costs themselves.

Influencers are social media personalities who promote brands and products to their followers. Their followers buy things from the brands influencers promote because:

  • They trust the influencer’s recommendations and opinions due to their relationship and engagement with the influencer’s content over time.

  • They want to purchase products/services that the influencer endorses because they see the influencer using and enjoying those products themselves.

  • They feel a sense of connection to the influencer and want to support the brands the influencer partners with.

Influencers care about cultivating their follower base because:

  • Their followers are essentially their customers - the more engaged followers they have, the more valuable they are to brands looking to partner and advertise through the influencer.

  • Growing their following allows influencers to negotiate higher rates and fees for sponsorships and partnerships with brands. Their worth is directly tied to the size and engagement of their audience.

  • Influencers enjoy engaging with their followers and building a community around their content and lifestyle. It provides fulfillment beyond just the monetary benefits.

So in summary, influencers promote brands to their followers to make money, and they work to grow their follower base over time because it increases their value, negotiation power, and enjoyment of their work in the influencer industry. Their followers support promoted brands because they feel a personal connection to the influencer.

Influencers must ensure any products or brands they promote align with their own personal brand and values. Their followers expect authenticity and trust in recommendations. If influencers promote products that seem inauthentic or don’t align, it can damage their credibility.

The article profiles two influencers, Caitlin and Mirna, and how carefully they choose partnerships. Caitlin promotes “clean” products and declined a second perfume deal after realizing the ingredients didn’t align. Mirna advocates for body positivity and declined contact from Jenny Craig, a weight loss company.

Both influencers ensure any partnerships genuinely represent their personal values and goals. Even large companies must prove their alignment, like when Mirna warily considered partnering with Lululemon due to their past size inclusivity issues. She advocated for changes and community feedback which improved the partnership.

The influencers see partnership selection as important for maintaining follower trust and using their platform to advocate for the communities and values they represent. Authenticity, alignment with personal brand, and advocacy are key considerations in their decision making process.

  • Shannon Bird called 911 in the middle of the night because she had run out of formula for her infant and couldn’t find any help. A local police officer responded and bought her some formula.

  • She posted about this on Instagram, thinking it was a feel-good story. But it went viral and attracted major media attention.

  • Online, she faced accusations that she was using her white privilege and treating the officer like a personal errand boy. People questioned how a mother of color would have been treated.

  • Shannon received hate online and strange items like empty formula cans were sent to her home. She felt very judged in her community.

  • Child and Family Services showed up at her house to investigate after an anonymous tip, traumatizing Shannon.

  • Though her husband doesn’t let criticism bother him, Shannon’s children were shaken. Other family members were also upset by the incident.

  • Two years later, Shannon still feels the stigma and worries people will judge her kids or call CFS on her again. It negatively impacted her influencer career due to backlash. She feels the incident is still being used against her.

  • Shannon struggled as brands withdrew partnerships with her due to online outrage over incidents like calling 911 on a Blackbird owner. She lost around $13,000 per month in income.

  • As an “experiment,” she started a GoFundMe to fund her breast reconstruction surgery, citing lost income. However, this faced major backlash and she took it down.

  • The decreased partnerships caused Shannon an identity crisis as influencing was central to how she supported herself and set an example for her kids.

  • Meanwhile, Caitlin began rethinking the “perfect” image she cultivated, as influencer culture faces criticism for unrealistic standards. Studies found Instagram can negatively impact teenage girls’ body image.

  • Influencers and the industry are self-correcting to some degree, moving from perfection to more “real” and inclusive representations as early as 2014, though apps still face scrutiny over their impact and lack of regulation.

  • Influencer Hollis posted about showing cellulite and stretch marks to promote body positivity, which started a trend of influencers being more candid about edited vs unedited photos.

  • Blogger Caitlin Covington knew she needed to be more open to stay relevant as tastes shifted away from curated perfection. She openly discussed getting a nose job and her struggles with anxiety and depression.

  • In early 2021, pregnant with her first child, Caitlin decided to share her raw, unedited postpartum journey to avoid portraying a “perfect mother”. She worried about facing criticism as a new mother.

  • Caitlin experienced “mom-shaming” during her pregnancy for innocent posts. She had to balance sharing her life while tired of criticism.

  • Influencers sharing real, unedited experiences of pregnancy and motherhood provide a valuable resource for women. Caitlin’s candid approach could help others but also open her up to more criticism as a mother.

So in summary, the passage discusses Caitlin’s evolving approach to be more open and honest about her life with followers, as influenced by trends towards authenticity, and her planned raw sharing of her journey into motherhood despite concerns about criticism.

  • Caitlin gave birth to her daughter Kennedy in January 2021. She shared photos on social media showing the reality of being a new mom - messy hair, no makeup, tired but happy.

  • Her followers responded very positively to these “real” portrayals of motherhood, as most influencers only shared the perfect moments.

  • Caitlin found motherhood much harder than expected, with high emotions, lack of sleep, breastfeeding challenges. She took longer off work than planned.

  • She felt compelled to share her real experiences and emotions on social media to connect with followers and not portray an idealized version of motherhood.

  • When she went on a work trip at 6 weeks postpartum, she got criticism but defended her choice as a working mom. The trip boosted her confidence.

  • Over time, Caitlin learned to share more real moments and navigated criticism, following her instincts on her career. She felt reinventing herself as she adapted to motherhood and running her business.

In summary, Caitlin found motherhood much harder than expected but gained confidence over time in sharing the reality with followers, which strengthened her connection to them and her decisions about her career.

  • The video talks about Mirna, a Black plus-size woman who is an outdoor enthusiast and educates others about diversity, equity, and inclusion. She used to work as an educator but now runs her own diversity training programs.

  • In 2020 after George Floyd’s murder, she started offering virtual workshops on identity, social justice, and anti-racism. They were popular and she expanded them, now working with corporations.

  • Mirna receives lots of media attention as one of the few prominent Black outdoors influencers. She represents Vermont outdoors despite not publicly announcing she lives there.

  • A 2021 study found stark racial pay gaps and opportunities differences in the influencer industry. Black influencers made 35% less than white influencers and were less likely to reach a large “macro influencer” status. This highlighted long-standing diversity issues the industry was forced to address after the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement.

  • Influencers with under 50,000 followers, known as nano and micro influencers, typically make around $27,000 per year. They are more likely to receive free products than cash payments from brands.

  • However, studies show smaller influencers have highly engaged audiences who trust them. Their engagement rates are higher on average.

  • Black influencers face challenges in earning fair pay and managing financial processes with brands. They are penalized more than white influencers for speaking out on social issues like racial justice.

  • Agencies and databases are working to increase transparency around influencer pay to help Black creators negotiate fairly. Managers argue follower count alone should not determine pay, as Black influencers have harder times reaching metrics.

  • The story profiles Ayana Lage, a Black influencer whose Instagram posts advocating for BLM in 2020 went viral. She gained over 30,000 followers but wasn’t paid more initially. Big brands then contacted her and she earned around $115,000 in 2021, becoming financially successful through her new platform and representation.

  • In summary, the passage discusses pay inequities faced by Black influencers and nano/micro influencers, as well as efforts to promote fairness and one woman’s experience gaining recognition for social activism.

  • Ayana began as a lifestyle blogger but gained attention after posting some “snappy” social justice videos. She plateaued at around 50,000 followers and lost some who may have only followed for the social justice content.

  • Over time, Ayana became more confident as an influencer. She cares less about growth metrics and enjoys posting authentically. Brand deals have slowed but she is grateful for opportunities.

  • Ayana thinks the influencer industry still has work to do on diversity issues but sees some improvements like followers holding brands accountable over equity issues.

  • Caitlin realized in 2020 that as a popular influencer, she needed to speak out about her progressive political beliefs to avoid assumptions from followers that she was conservative. While uncomfortable, addressing politics publicly became important for building trust with her audience.

So in summary, the passage discusses Ayana gaining confidence over time in her influencing approach and career, and Caitlin deciding she needed to publicly share her political views given expectations on influencers to take stands.

  • Caitlin is an influencer who struggles with balancing speaking out on political issues while avoiding alienating followers and losing income. She wants to stand up for her beliefs but also doesn’t want to offend people.

  • It’s difficult for influencers to navigate the fast news cycle and respond perfectly to every major event. They are expected to form opinions quickly without much time to properly process information.

  • During the January 6th insurrection, Caitlin was overwhelmed and didn’t feel able to comment publicly right away. She took a break from posting which angered some followers.

  • Influencers have faced increasing pressure to weigh in on all issues, but commenters are now more understanding that they may not have perfect responses and comprehensive commentary.

  • Shannon Bird, another influencer, used to heavily feature her children in her content. Over time her kids grew resentful of always being “on” for the camera.

  • During a stressful sponsored photoshoot, Shannon had a meltdown screaming at her kids. This made her realize she needed to prioritize being a mother over her career at times.

  • Shannon has since scaled back featuring her kids and given them more privacy and autonomy over their own lives and activities like Halloween costumes.

  • Shannon Birds tries to get her children, Holland and Hudson, more invested in making influencer content for her blog and Instagram in hopes it will teach them responsibility and get them excited to participate.

  • Shannon started letting Holland and Hudson keep the money from their own sponsored posts and campaigns. This works sometimes but the kids still push back against content they know they are getting paid to produce.

  • Even when opportunities seem fun, the kids see it as work rather than family time. They realize they are “on the clock” and producing content on demand.

  • Producing influencer content has affected Holland at school, with other kids bringing up things posted about her online. Shannon had to stop posting things that could embarrass Holland.

  • The issue of featuring kids’ lives openly online raises questions about their privacy, safety, and rights over their own image as they grow up in the spotlight of their parents’ blogs and channels.

  • Some influencers film their kids’ entire lives, exposing both positives and negatives, while others keep their kids mostly private or discuss them without extensive filming. Where to draw the line is still evolving.

  • The Stauffers gained fame on YouTube through adoption and family vlogging videos, featuring their adopted son Huxley who had special needs.

  • However, they later revealed they had given Huxley to another family better equipped to handle his needs, sparking outrage over exploiting and profiting off sharing his life online.

  • Rossana Burgos, a popular family vlogger, privately expressed concerns to the author about exploiting children online for views and money.

  • She believes many family vloggers don’t understand the long-term consequences of oversharing children’s lives without consent.

  • While YouTube poses higher risks due to hours of filming daily and younger audiences, all social media poses risks of exploiting children for profit and lack of privacy.

  • Some propose regulating “kidfluencers” similarly to child actors to protect their earnings and wellbeing, but it is complicated due to different state laws and platforms involved.

  • The issues raised by the Stauffer case could be a tipping point for seriously addressing protecting children’s rights and privacy online.

  • Regulating the child influencer/kidfluencer industry is very complicated as much of the content is filmed spontaneously in a child’s home without traditional work hours or scripts. It would be difficult for states to enforce regulations around work hours in a child’s own home.

  • Attempts to apply existing child actor laws like Coogan laws, which protect a portion of earnings, to the influencer industry have challenges as social media is confined to family units and fast-paced content creation. Complete regulation of content production presents new questions.

  • Some think tailored legislation is needed rather than just expanding child actor laws. Issues include lack of financial protections, impacts on privacy and education, and risks of exploitation by parents/companies.

  • Countries like France have passed laws aimed at protecting child influencers, addressing financial protections and regulating work hours and content involving minors. However, the US has not passed similar protections.

  • Being an influencer can negatively impact family dynamics if children feel time with parents is only for work purposes. It’s a challenge to balance career and family when one’s job involves one’s children. Overall regulating the industry in a way that properly protects children remains an ongoing challenge with no clear solutions.

  • Caitlin is a mother and influencer who shares photos and details about her daughter Kennedy on her blog and social media. She finds it natural to share her motherhood experience with her followers.

  • However, she is aware she needs to balance sharing with protecting Kennedy’s privacy and consent as she gets older. Caitlin only shares benign details and photos so far.

  • Running her influencer business takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work like planning content, responding to DMs, negotiating deals, etc. It can be a 24/7 job without boundaries.

  • Many influencers hire assistants to help with tasks like organizing, responding to emails, running errands. This has created jobs for women. Caitlin now has an assistant a few days a week which has improved her work-life balance.

  • However, responding to DMs alone can take hours each day even for influencers with fewer followers. The constant content production and engagement can lead to stress and burnout over time.

The passage describes the experiences of influencer assistants and the demands of their jobs. They face challenges like not having clear boundaries between work and personal life since everything they do could be considered content.

While influencers have some help, they ultimately take on many roles themselves like CEO, photographer, social media manager, and more. Assistants help with tasks like answering DMs, which can be very time consuming with influencers getting 50-60 DMs per hour.

One assistant, Josie, works part-time answering DMs for her influencer boss. She finds DMs take a lot of her time as new ones come in quickly. People share personal details, and she has to be careful about advice. She can see how much money she is making for her boss by linking products people ask about.

It takes effort for assistants to respond authentically as their boss. Josie considers becoming an influencer herself since she understands the opportunities. Many influencer assistants feel pressure to start their own accounts. The work provides flexibility but comes without recognition for all the behind-the-scenes roles.

  • Shannon goes shopping at H&M with her kids and finds some clothes she loves for an upcoming trip to Miami, including a white button-down shirt and white cardigan.

  • She enjoys shopping for herself after feeling restricted from doing so as an influencer who received free clothes from brands.

  • Shannon is considering retiring from influencer work due to the stress and controversies. She wants to try new ventures like acting, modeling, and voiceovers.

  • Many influencers from her generation are hitting a crossroads as their kids get older and want more privacy. A new generation of influencers is emerging on TikTok.

  • To have long-term success, influencers should leverage their brand into products sold at stores, like clothing lines. This provides more stable income than relying on social media alone.

  • Influencers have grown dissatisfied with Instagram due to lack of control and trends like “loop giveaways” where new influencers quickly gain followers by paying to be included in celebrity prize promotions. This has angered influencers who grew organically.

  • New influencers were able to get big brand deals despite having low organic growth and using tactics like giveaways and bots to artificially boost their numbers. This frustrated influencers who grew organically.

  • Instagram’s terms prohibit artificially boosting engagement but the platform rarely enforces this, angering honest creators.

  • Over time, Instagram prioritized its own interests like pushing Reels over what creators and audiences wanted. Engagement fell for creators who didn’t adapt.

  • The opaque algorithm rewards frequent posting and time spent on the app, pressuring creators to constantly engage without breaks.

  • One influencer, Caitlin, saw engagement plummet around 2016 when Instagram changed to an algorithmic feed. She felt her self-worth tied to post performance but realized Instagram’s changes were out of her control.

  • Caitlin continues blogging which she finds more fulfilling than Instagram alone. She also explores other platforms like TikTok and Reels, finding some Reels success. But influencers feel frustrated by Instagram prioritizing its own interests over creators.

  • Caitlin is an influencer who has been successful on Instagram for many years, but does not want to rely on social media platforms forever to make a living. She finds being an influencer unsustainable for the long run and draining.

  • Like many other influencers, Caitlin wants to diversify her income streams and create her own business/product that she fully owns and controls, rather than relying on sponsored posts. Her goal is to launch a line of natural hair products.

  • Once the brand is established, Caitlin hopes to step back from sharing as much of her personal life on social media. She wants the brand to run more independently so she isn’treliant on Instagram for income.

  • In 5 years, Caitlin hopes to have a better work-life balance as a mother of 3 kids. She wants to be more present for her family instead of focusing all her energy on her online presence.

  • Caitlin is thankful for the opportunities influencing has provided so far, but does not see it as a long-term, sustainable career path, especially as her family grows. Having her own brand is a way to take back control.

  • Mirna is a social media influencer who originally started her career on Instagram sharing about running and fitness.

  • Through her influencer career, she now makes more money than she ever expected and has financial success that allows big life changes.

  • One of her dreams is to buy land and build a sustainable home for her family to stay in. She also wants to build trails for running and host inclusive running events.

  • Long term, her vision is to create an outdoor retreat/learning center where people can try different outdoor activities like running, biking, and skiing in a judgment-free environment. She wants it to be accessible for people of color.

  • Becoming an influencer has helped Mirna pursue her passions of the outdoors and supporting others in finding theirs. Her career stemmed from a love of running and nature she discovered as a kid through camping trips.

So in summary, Mirna’s influencer success has given her financial means to pursue her dream of creating outdoor spaces and events focused on inclusiveness, nature, and exposing others to outdoor activities.

  • The author initially wondered if influencers and their content would become irrelevant soon, as platforms evolve quickly. However, she realized influencers are actually evolving and diversifying across multiple platforms like TikTok, Instagram, newsletters, blogs and podcasts.

  • Influencers are impacting and changing many industries as brands recognize their ability to sell products online. Even journalists and celebrities are adopting influencer-style marketing.

  • The author profiles a young influencer named Indy Severe who started on TikTok and has now built a successful lifestyle brand across platforms as she raises her son.

  • Younger influencers are more transparent about the business side and partnerships with brands. They see influencing as a viable long-term career option rather than just a temporary trend.

  • While the influencer industry has issues around body image, privacy of children, etc., the next generations may improve upon it. A high school student campaigned for more legal protections for children featured online by influencers.

  • In summary, the author argues that contrary to perceptions, influencers are not fading away but rather evolving their careers and impacting industries in sustainable ways. The future of influencer culture remains uncertain but full of opportunities.

The author acknowledges and thanks the many people who helped make the book possible, from interview subjects to her editor, agent, publicists and other professional contacts. She is particularly grateful to influencers who openly shared their experiences. On a personal level, she thanks friends and family for their constant love and support, noting that her passion for writing and journalism was fostered from a young age by her parents. The author expresses feeling lucky to have so many cheerleaders believing in her work. Overall, the acknowledgements convey deep gratitude for the collaborative efforts that went into writing and publishing the book.

  • The passage is written from the perspective of an author thanking various people for their support in writing a book.

  • The author thanks their child, saying the book was written while pregnant with them and hopes someday the child will be proud of that. Being a parent is the happiest time and nothing outdoes sitting and laughing with the child.

  • The author also thanks their cat Buffy for unnamed support with the book process.

  • Finally, the author profoundly thanks their partner Brian. At every stage of writing the book, from initial idea to present, Brian has been their first contact, favorite person to celebrate small wins with, and the only one who can ease their feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt. The author says they could not have done any of it without Brian’s love, belief in them, and support through big challenges. The author conveys deep love and gratitude for Brian.

Here is a summary of the key points from the source kvL6d/?hl=en:

  • Influencer marketing is a growing industry, predicted to be worth over $16 billion by 2022 according to Influencer Marketing Hub.

  • A majority of consumers trust influencer recommendations over traditional ads according to influencer marketing statistics from Neal Schaffer.

  • Major brands like Puma, Chanel, McDonald’s, and Depend have paid celebrity influencers like Kylie Jenner, Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake, and Lisa Rinna millions of dollars to promote their products.

  • Social media fame and becoming an influencer can negatively impact mental health. Blogger Caitlin Covington opened up about experiencing crippling anxiety from the pressure of her social media platform.

  • Studies have shown social media can be toxic for teen girls’ mental health and body image according to leaked Facebook documents reported by the Wall Street Journal. However, the impact may depend on age.

  • Influencers of color face significant pay gaps compared to white influencers according to a study by MSL revealing racial disparities in influencer marketing compensation.

  • Popular parenting influencer Cara Dumaplin faced backlash after it was revealed she donated to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, dividing her large fan base.

  • Influencers like Shannon Bird who overly involve their children in their online brands and monetize child content have faced criticism for potentially exploiting their kids for financial gain.

That covers the key highlights and summaries from the source document. Let me know if you need any part expanded on or have additional questions.

Here is a summary of the information on about the Coogan Law:

  • The Coogan Law, named after child actor Jackie Coogan, was passed in 1939 to protect child performers and require a portion of their earnings to be set aside in a blocked trust fund for their benefit until they reach adulthood.

  • It requires employers of child performers in the entertainment industry to withhold 15% of the child’s gross earnings and place them into a blocked trust account called a Coogan account.

  • The funds in the Coogan account cannot be accessed by the child’s parents or guardian and are available to the child when they turn 18. This protects children’s earnings from being squandered by parents and ensures they benefit financially from their work as adults.

  • The Coogan Law has since been strengthened and its protections expanded by subsequent amendments over the decades. It covers children working in movies, television, commercials, modeling, and other entertainment industries in California where most child performers work.

So in summary, the Coogan Law established trust funds to protect the earnings of child entertainers, requiring a portion to be set aside for their financial benefit when they become adults since show business careers are often short-lived for young performers. It shields their money from potentially exploitative or financially irresponsible parents or guardians.

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