In the Influencer World, Sponsored Posts Outweigh Social Responsibility
The latter half of the 2010s certainly owes the Kardashians credit for developing the concept of the “Instagram body,” with Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe’s unending posts about their flat tummies and curvy bodies. Of course, with the evils of Instagram, there is no way to escape the barrage of influencer-backed products. A small list begins with Sugar Bear Hair (hair vitamins), FitTea (detox tea), and HiSmile (teeth-whitener kit).
While there is nothing wrong with product promotion on social media platforms (despite being incredibly annoying), there should be greater transparency as to prevent misleading advertising that tricks consumers into equating the complex body-maintenance of high level socialites with a silver-bullet diet product.
This is where Jameela Jamil comes in, with her informative and almost heroic takedowns of the Kardashians. In the post below, The Good Place star offers an honest critique of problematic influencer advertising.
Khloe has since deleted the post but has yet to make a formal apology. It seems fairly unlikely that future promotion of these products with end on the Kardashian camp, considering that Momager Kris Jenner has described the upwards of six-figure deal her daughters have per post. Jamil has solidified her stance, stating in an interview:
“Weight is such a stupid way to monitor your health because it doesn’t mean anything. Women saturate water, and fat weighs less than muscle, and there’s so much misinformation out there I think we shouldn’t be thinking about our size, we should be thinking about our health and our mental health.”
Jamil serves as a true defender of body positivity and is right to point out the harmful nature of these products that promise an easy way toward weight loss for an “ideal” body. These companies profit off problematic beliefs and target vulnerable populations, especially young women who are struggling with body image.
Harvard scientist and eating disorder activist S. Bryn Austin has praised Jamil, claiming that the actress’ prominent voice has informed consumers more effectively than the fine-print warnings that note that none of these products are FDA-approved or necessarily healthy for consumption.
Hopefully, major influencers like the Kardashians will become more socially responsible in their brand partnerships, cut their losses on profits, and take up a slightly more virtuous route by leaving these products in the past.
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