Today, more kids want to be influencers than want to be astronauts. And with the likes of Kylie Jenner and Dwayne Johnson getting paid almost a million pounds for a single post on Instagram, who could blame them?
But is the influencer life as glamorous as it seems?
In his new book Get Rich or Lie Trying, Channel 4 News reporter Symeon Brown lifts the lid on influencer culture. It’s a timely investigation. He meets young women who’ve had plastic surgery to fit the online ideal, and a formerly homeless African migrant who’s been paid to listen to racist abuse from alt right livestream audiences.
But Symeon doesn’t vilify the influencers he met for his book – for many of the people making money by building a following online, it can seem a rational choice when faced with an insecure job market and the cost of living crisis.
In this week’s BetterPod he tells Sophie Dimitrijevic and Laura Kelly about the undercurrent of fraud, exploitation, bribery, and dishonesty behind influencer culture.
BetterPod is brought to you by The Big Issue’s Future Generations team. Through the Future Generations team, we offer a platform for exciting young journalists from underrepresented backgrounds to address the biggest issues facing us today.