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Molly-Mae, influencer culture, and the myth that hard work reaps rewards

Molly-Mae, influencer culture, and the myth that hard work reaps rewards
Written by Publishing Team

Pull yourself up next to your Balenciagas. This is what 22-year-old influencer Molly May Haig was effectively preaching in an interview on CEO Diary Audio notation. a short clip The Hague talks about her work ethic, which made her name take to Twitter. “If you want something enough that you can achieve, it just depends on (sic) what lengths you want to go, to get to where you want to be in the future,” she said. “And I will go to any length. I have worked my absolute ass to get to where I am now.” Previous love island The contestant also relied on the adage that everyone has the same 24 hours as Beyoncé, hinting that people can…simply motivate themselves — and lift them out of poverty.

On social media, criticism was pouring in from all directions. For a moment, I sensed that the Internet was collectively seeing behind the veil of mainstream influencer marketing for the first time: selling misleading ideas to followers about achieving “aspirational” lifestyles in a materially unequal world. The paradox of Instagram’s girlboss grind culture, which delivers catchphrases and productivity tips to an audience some surely struggle to pay their bills, has been getting a much-needed rinse.

This is, of course, a topic that has been meticulously dissected before, but the debate has been rekindled by The Hague’s impartiality, lack of self-awareness, and refusal to recognize its own privilege. One person wrote that it was in essence reciting “Thatcherite talking points dressed in the words of an inspiring influencer”, while Others pointed out The discrepancy between her £600,000 earnings as creative director of Pretty Little Thing, a notorious fast fashion company for subcontracting garment workers for as little as £3.50 an hour, well below the UK minimum wage.

However, putting this on as hypocrisy is part of the problem. it’s not. It makes perfect sense that a young 22-year-old who grew up in a country that already celebrates Thatcher’s legacy – the same one that left Britain with a housing crisis, privatized nationalized industries, sought to reduce the role of the state, and eliminate the idea of ​​class distinctions – would think she could on accumulating her immense wealth through something as intangible as hard work, and not, for example, interrupting the social, aesthetic, and material privileges she might possess. Or even luck.

Unfortunately, this type of thinking is not limited to Haig or other influencers like her, but is part of a broader political reality where work, and especially effort, is seen as the only barrier to financial success. Ellie Mae O’Hagan, the The director of the Center for Labor and Social Studies writes: “Molly Mae’s something goes beyond influencers. I’ve heard people who have two jobs and still can’t pay the bills make similar arguments in focus groups and quantitative studies. Most people relate emotionally to the idea that hard work pays off. How to tackle this is complex and not easy to answer.” “.

“(Influencers) is a very visible symptom of the way the individual ethos around work has not only infiltrated every gap in our lives today but is packaged as a product to sell to people who desperately need answers to their financial struggles.”

Amelia Horgan wrote in Lost in Action: Escape from Capitalism. Focusing on influencers cannot be the end point of these conversations, then, but rather the beginning. It’s not the only problem, it’s actually a very visible symptom of the way the individualistic ethos around work has not only infiltrated every gap in our lives today but is packaged as a product to sell to people who desperately need answers to their financial struggles.

In a country where home prices have risen for 17 years, household income inequality continues to rise, and precarious zero-hour contracts have increased more than fivefold during the Conservative era, the false promise of merit is a great way to replace a hollow state. As the vision of a prosperous society or an equal society is forced to collapse, trampling on others, in a twisted game of survival of the fittest, is the only option available to financial security.

This of course does not mean that influencers do not have individual responsibility or should not be criticized, especially when they wield a lot of power through their social capital. Flattening the argument by insisting that “there is no moral consumption under capitalism”, and thus influencers are exploited as much as garment workers, is simply incorrect. As the writer Rachel Connolly puts it: “All workers experience exploitation of some kind under capitalism, but it is not an act of solidarity to mask the unequal way in which this is manifested.”

It is certainly important to acknowledge the apparent injustice in someone who preaches a work ethic, as they wear jewelry on their wrists worth up to three years of the average annual salary and continue to benefit from low-paying work. However, focusing on influencers alone, as many have routinely done before, does not acknowledge the bigger picture; Most wealthy people get rich and stay rich through the same exploits, not “hard work” (so much as they might try to convince themselves in private). Influencers wear this mindset up their sleeves because they can sell it as a product to their audience.

The next stage of this dialogue is to think about what concrete solutions are. How can we collectively create conditions in which such attitudes of “work” do not exist in the first place? In what kind of world can such nonsense concepts as “millennial burnout” and “productivity imbalance” be simply eliminated? And when can we not only call exploitation for what it is, but also end it?

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Publishing Team