Weekly Words: 18th November 2017

“Former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman: ‘I find the idea that there was a posh cabal offensive’” – The Guardian

Edward Enninful’s predecessor Alexandra Shulman has been dealing with controversy since stepping down from her role as EIC of British Vogue a few months ago. The formerly inoffensive character has been marred by allegations of racism and classism along with being charged with taking thinly veiled swipes at her replacement in a Business of Fashion column. In an attempt at damage control, Shulman sat down with an interviewer from The Guardian to set the record straight. As tends to be the case with any interview to address a problem, it didn’t go well. For starters, Shulman was set up to fail as the interviewer clearly had some personal issues with her and the article seemed extremely biased to read. I am not a Shulman die-hard fan but I did think that the interviewer seemed very keen on knocking her at every possible opportunity. The portrait of Shulman painted was one of a very out-of-touch woman. She didn’t seem racist or hateful in anyway; she really just seemed clueless. Shulman’s approach to editing British Vogue was all about numbers, not creativity. She was focused on growing the circulation and readership, not being groundbreaking or progressive. With Enninful as EIC, it will be interesting to see the changes that are made. Now that more people have got their hands on the December issue, more reviews are coming in. The cover has been praised by almost everybody in the fashion industry (and, of course, it is divine) but the editorials inside apparently still have the same cast of models who frequented the pages of Shulman’s Vogue. This, coupled with the accusations of photoshopping cover star Adwoa Aboah lighter, have meant that Edward Enninful’s debut issue may not have been as perfect as we all hoped. However, I’m sure it’s still great and I can’t wait to flick through my own copy.

 

“Exposed: Beauty Bloggers Committing Fraud!” – Chloe Morello, YouTube

Australian Youtuber Chloe Morello posted a video this week exposing the culture of buying fake followers and engagement on social media in order to receive influencer status. This is common practice and done by so many girls who see Instagram as a means to an end. They see other girls living fun lives and want to do the same thing. Unfortunately, the time to gain an online following has long passed. It was an easier thing to do five years ago but now the market is so saturated that it is almost impossible to grow a following from scratch organically nowadays. So how do new influencers keep popping up then? That is what Morello dives into in her video. The notion of bots, comment pods, and fake followers is nothing new but it is getting ridiculous and borderline fraudulent. Brands are wasting money by sponsoring influencers who don’t have real followings and therefore no audience to influence and turn into customers. On top of all of this, people are getting to live a life of luxury that they haven’t earned. I wonder how much more exposing has to occur before people get shutdown, whether that be by the social networks themselves (imagine if they deleted every account which had bought followers, the drama…) or by brands by effectively shutting people out. I’m curious to see how this develops.

Eve Gardiner is the founder and content creator behind evegardiner.com

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