The appalling role models influencing younger generations

I know I am not in the demographic to be affected by the influencers of the world. I am too old, rarely use my Instagram account and hardly rate a mention on Facebook, preferring to keep my privacy a tiny bit intact.

To be quite frank, up until a few years ago I had zero knowledge of the term until one of my daughters rolled her eyes in horror and disbelief and explained to me about the millions of followers some influencers have on social media and how much money they can make through just being themselves. Well, not exactly themselves, I thought, as this rare species was explained to me. Surely, they just create a fantasy version of themselves that they publicly show and then somewhere in the quiet of their room/mansion they can be more like the rest of us, human, with the usual array of plain ordinary looks and behaviour.

However, this conclusion of mine was rudely demolished the other day as I innocently read about the Australian Open tennis preparations. Evidently there are complaints about quarantine by some of the internationally renowned tennis players. Some sympathy was evoked as they unexpectedly found themselves in lockdown for longer, in a hotel room without the chance to practise on a court. Yes, I could appreciate the hardship but the next revelation and complaint blew me away. One of the players’ girlfriends complained about being unable to wash her hair. I puzzled over this as I continued to read the post, baffled by the idea. Wasn’t there a shower in the hotel suite? Shampoo in the bathroom? Running water? We are a first world country after all and we had arranged very nice hotel accommodation for our international players.

But, no, I had the wrong end of the stick as they say, or should I say the wrong end of the hairbrush. The girlfriend was a famous influencer who never washes her own hair! Evidently, she always has a hairdresser who washes her hair for her and styles it twice a week. Her world had come apart because no-one was allowed to visit her room in quarantine and she would have to wash her hair HERSELF. The sheer misery of it. She would have to look plain ordinary to her millions of followers and risk the shame that came with that … I let my sarcasm run loose in my head for a bit.

I was truly gobsmacked and thought this was extremely funny until I realised that this was a young woman who many people around the world follow, imitate and look up to. What kind of an appalling role model is she? Now I am sure there are worse behaviours out there in cyberland, but, really, why doesn’t this young girl see the vacuous note of her complaint and get on board with some real-life issues that our young need to be concerned about. Global warming, fascist populist dictatorships and the demise of a good quality hairbrush.

Just a suggestion.

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Written by Dianne Motton

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