Over the past few years, the beauty industry has been booming and with this growth comes the popularity of Beauty Influencers. Some Beauty Influencers are surpassing five million subscribers on YoutTube and have partnered with beauty companies to create their own lines and successfully sell out their own very successful product lines. One sales promotion that is prominent in this industry is limited edition. Hype is created for a product initially so sales start off fast and demand accelerates. Consumers inherently think the product has more value because of its claimed scarcity.
I would not say I’m a beauty enthusiastic but after working on a advertising pitch for Ulta, the importance of influencers in the industry became clear beyond my own on social media engagement. You cannot just take anyone and make him or her a beauty influencer. But why do these people have a following? The psychological reasoning is two fold. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. People desire social belonging and self-esteem. The families that these beauty influencers create online give people an outlet where their interests are shared with others. They feel accepted in these communities and have a shared source for conversation.
Yet more importantly, is the solution that beauty influencers offer to improve how we are seen on social media. Social media has created an environment where your face can be shown to anyone over Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat and selfies in general. The people we perceive as beautiful online often have huge following because we as a society value attractiveness. The general sentiment is how can I look like that. Makeup is an easy way to change your appearance and less permanent than plastic surgery, although surgical modifications are also popular on social media. Social media alters how we feel about our appearance and makeup allows us to fulfill our need for greater self-esteem. It gives us the power to control our looks and therefore feel better about the way we look. The makeup industry is entertaining and engaging but it is also about appearances and the need to be respected and revered by others. The beauty influencer fulfills basic human psychological needs and that is why they are so successful.
This industry, though progressive and having an affinity to the LGBTQ community, is mostly fueled by women. Women are creating new makeup brands startups and representing and growing the industry. Though women are succeeding in this industry it is important to remember the counter argument to the obsession with beauty. The Beauty Myth written by Naomi Wolf is a great resource to illustrate how beauty can be used against women as a form of societal control.
Social media creates the environment that makes us think that appearances give us value. Beauty influencers fulfill psychological needs for both belonging and self-esteem fueling a growing beauty industry and profiting off of their looks and skills. After all who wouldn’t want to look flawless just like their favorite beauty influencer?
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