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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Buyer

#35: Given the chance, wouldn't we all be influencers?

Updated: Dec 27, 2021

I’m careful to preface that I’m not an influencer and I never will be, but I have to admit that “never” isn’t necessarily true. If I was given the chance to be recognized or receive perks from something useful, I’ve always known that would take it in a heartbeat. Wouldn’t you? I preface that I’m not an influencer because I find many influencers (fitness or otherwise) cringeworthy, and I don’t want to be associated. Nobody wants to hear about booty bands or fat loss milkshakes because they’re silly and ineffective. Call this harsh, but promoting false products is both selfish and embarrassing. I sincerely promise not to push booty bands or fat loss supplements on anyone, unless if a fat loss pill magically works one day—then I’ll tell you, but the world is probably ending.

When my friends and I see an influencer with under 100K followers, our natural instinct is to put make fun of them. On the one hand, we’re jealous that they have a following, but on the other hand, we don’t respect them because we don’t perceive them to be successful. If I see a more successful influencer, I become curious of how they got there and attracted such a following. No matter the following, I have to give influencers credit for putting themselves out there. I know people do it because it looks like easy money and free products, but it means they’re bold (or shameless) enough not to care what others think, because there will always be haters. I’m not willing to put myself out there unless I knew I’d be so successful that acquaintances and friends wouldn’t laugh at me, or at least be jealous. For better or worse, I care too much about what others think.

Someone the other day told me that I’m already an influencer because I have power to shape what people think. I immediately wanted to tell her no, I’m not like them. There’s such a negative connotation behind the influencer title. It seems as though we (and mostly older generations) resent and have a lack of respect for influencers. If the job is so easy, why don’t we all do it? I’m arguing that everyone would if they could and we’re jealous that we can’t.

Once people realize how passionate I am about lifting, they often ask me why I’m not in the fitness profession, influencer or not. My answer is simple: There’s so much BS in the fitness industry that I could never begin to cut through it. People that are honest either come off so aggressive that it’s ingenuine or have no way to captivate an audience. It’s easiest to build a brand by offering a “magic secret” that makes everything easy. However, true success is the result of hard work both in the gym and kitchen (which I still struggle with). Sure, it’s great to have role models and people to look up to while you put in the work, but I can’t build an effective brand telling people the truth, because nobody wants to accept it. People have to learn the hard way through trial and error, which unfortunately includes buying endless waist trainers and fat burning pills thinking that the next one will work. I would have to [pretend] that I eat healthy most of the time to be a role model, but I’m still trying to come to terms with my Oreo addiction and fragile body image. It would make me uncomfortable to talk about what I eat all the time knowing how inconsistent I am and how difficult it is to stick to a plan. I truly believe that the person who’s going to succeed only needs basic information and intrinsic motivation—No influencer or fitness professional can give that to someone.

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