Forced into the over-saturated influencer market, I always find it interesting to see how the Love Island stars take to their new ‘celebrity’ status. I wonder what type of influencer they will become and whether it is fair to even call them influencers?
Others have to endure years of content creation and follower build-up to get close to some small brand partnerships, whereas 6 weeks on Love Island and the popular high street brands are fighting for the contestants’ endorsement as soon as they are out of the villa.
I didn’t follow Molly-Mae before Love Island but recognised her from a few fashion websites on which she had modelled. In a recent interview she described how, unlike many of her fellow contestants, Love Island doesn’t define her. Molly-Mae insists her title will always be fashion influencer. This begs the question was her appearance on Love Island all just a publicity boost from the start? But then again, who really goes on the show for love anymore? Is it not just a way to take the fast-track to being insta-famous?
Life After Love Island
As predicted, since returning from the villa Molly-Mae has had some incredible brand partnerships. These include her own collection with Pretty Little Thing (a partnership valued at £500,000). She was also invited to their New York Fashion Week show and pictured with the likes of Paris Hilton. This was followed by her collaboration with Beauty Works, advertising how her followers can get the famous Molly-Mae bun down to a ‘T’ and how she always keeps her locks looking selfie ready.
Along with her influencer success, there have been downsides for Molly-Mae. She has become the target of negative internet trolls; the criticisms she faced in the villa for clearly only entering for financial gain have worsened since she has left and now many adverse comments target her appearance. Molly-Mae has always been open and honest about the work she has had done, including her lip and jaw fillers. However, since the trolls, she has admitted to having the jaw fillers dissolved as a result of the negative remarks.
Where’s the Off Switch?
Other than the obvious drawbacks such as the troll attacks, after reading her interview I began to wonder whether the commitment to being an influencer was a downside in this case. Molly-Mae mentions how ‘I can’t just turn my phone off, I have to see every comment.’
As a society we are taught that to be successful we have to throw ourselves into our careers and have sheer determination – but how do we know when it’s too much dedication? Lawyers can work endless hours of the day but still have a chance to take time out of the office.
Influencers have a bit more difficulty in ‘turning off’ as Molly-Mae calls it. She describes how she struggles to not be thinking about her job as she states “I eat, sleep and breathe Instagram and I’m always interested to know what people think of me so I can make myself more appealing.’
This constant need to better oneself can get tiring and almost become suffering as you delve deeper into becoming a perfectionist. Constantly on the go, influencers such as Molly who are recognisable in the public eye, don’t take time to stop. Because their career is based on social media platforms they are always reachable. There are no ‘out of office’ hours for the likes of Molly-Mae.
Molly-Mae defends her constant need to work nonstop. She believes the future of social media is so unpredictable it makes sense to get earn as much as possible from her current popularity as a safety net for the future.
But will this ‘addiction’ to her career prevent her from enjoying life in the moment and taking time for herself and her new-found relationship with Tommy Fury. Her recent vlogs on Youtube feature her trip to the States. She briefly films being in Times Square, but apologises to viewers as she was so focused on getting the perfect insta-shot of her and her billboard for the new clothing collection, she ended up with next to no footage.
The Taking Time Out Rule
Molly-Mae clearly adores her job and why shouldn’t she? We all dream of taking private jets to exotic places and having a wardrobe to die for in our own city flat with the love of our lives (all before 21 might I add). But at what cost is she living this dream? Should there be a rule for influencers such as Molly-Mae to take a sabbatical? Of course, if this were enforced, there is no way to guarantee the influencer’s job would still be there when they returned. It all comes down to the loyalty and staying power of their followers.