She said, “I want, because of me, for someone’s life to be better.” “Are you kidding me!?” I replied in my head when reading the interview.
She wanted to “make lives better” by posting about makeup trends, the latest designer stock on her shelves, and taking influential videos of herself in bed at 3 AM. Male fashionistas aren’t any better. They all share a common approach with one goal: to capitalize on the region’s natural lust for sarcasm and destructive influences.
I know my intro is kind of harsh and will hurt some people, but there is an issue here more important than feelings. The impact of these “influencers” on the young generation is becoming an actual social epidemic, and the adverse effects they are causing are becoming less and less evident in the mass media. It is a huge problem, failing to notice this dilemma. Kids today are growing up in a nation that idolizes fashionistas and fake influencers over real, self-made entrepreneurs. Instead of being inspired to expand their imaginations and challenge limits, they acquire a materialistic series of lifestyle habits rubbed in their faces by the public figures they follow.
Is that making someone’s life better, or just devaluing traditional values? I’d say it’s more like a criminal offense against intellectualism and self-development.
“Influence is a responsibility, not a term in your bio.”
The problem is that some influencers aren’t even capable of influencing someone’s life in a positive way. Even if they wanted to change their approach, it is nearly impossible for someone who might never touch a book to be able to do good. There is just too much sarcasm and nonsense in their content.
“Not all, but most.”
I mentioned (some) in the title, and I do mean it. It’s not all, but I can comfortably say most of the fashionistas and influencers who have gained strength via social media are not using their influence for any good purpose. Instead, they use it to gain some sense of imaginary satisfaction. They are seeking a sense of “I matter” to fulfill all their insecurities and need for attention.
I know a 16-year-old boy who has influenced more people than maybe all the fashionistas in Kuwait combined. His name is Hussain, and he completed the 5th annual Jazeera Run Kuwait 230 km Ultra in April 2017.
Knowing his story and what he has gone through while growing up has influenced those of us on the Forward team and left a mark on anyone who hears it. His is a story of guilt and fight. To come from such dark days to complete a 230 km Ultra at 16 is an inspiring achievement. The amount of strength he had to acquire and translate in the field to reach the finish line was a tipping point in his life. It made him realize his goal of wanting to influence others, especially his peers.
I’ve known Hussain closely and honestly; knowing him has prompted me to change some things about my life after I saw how tough this boy is for taking on such a bold move. He is truly inspirational, and his actions are mind blowing for most.
Another example of a man I have had the honor to work with is Anthony. He also completed the 230 km Ultra alongside Hussain. Anthony was like the godfather of the team: he motivated everyone and created a positive environment for us all. I still believe that, if we had not had him on the team, some of us might have stopped at a certain stage of the race. I say this about both the management team and the other five runners.
It’s a magical endeavor how he flipped his life upside down and dared to complete a 230-km race after only completing one 5k race previously. What is more, he managed it all perfectly while pursuing an MBA and working an 8-hour job each day. He spent many long training hours every morning and every night. Then, he pushed his colleagues to join him on some of his runs. This is the purest form of inspiration. It goes a long way beyond any standard of inspiration set for us by fake life coaches, public figures, and “muffin in the oven or burgers on a grill q8” business owners who call themselves entrepreneurs and challenge takers.
This is the crap behind (some) fashionistas and so-called influencers. We all have a role to play – we can either support an empty fad or make a positive impact by changing the people we follow!