Hello. It’s me. I’d like to take a moment to say a few words about some things that have been ____-ing me the ____ off. Fill in the blanks. Only a couple items here should be taken seriously. The others will hopefully make you giggle/nod wildly in agreement. I’ll leave that to your discretion.
Instagram influencers (mostly “makeup” people) and YouTubers who are trying to sell you that godforsaken Vanity Planet spinning brush head tear-your-face-off thing with a 70% off coupon code. Anything that comes with a 70% off coupon is going to seem enticing, but upon further inspection… no. Ditto for the Muddy Body clay mask, Farsali gold oil, and that Banish acne needle roller and serum. Yes, companies, we see your products. And we’re tired of seeing them. Use code KISSMYASS20 and sod off. All the way off. (Sidebar: any product that you can readily purchase with 500 different 40%+ off coupon codes should make you raise an eyebrow.)
Painting fake freckles on your face. And I’m not talking little, charming, barely-there sun kisses, I’m talking giant, cancerous mole-looking things. What the hell? You might as well draw long curly black hairs emanating from them while you’re at it. This isn’t Vogue. You’re not in a high-fashion editorial photoshoot. You look insane.
Makeup videos rife with people mugging for the camera, smacking their faces with dusty powderpuffs, and kissing the products they use. Average age: 25+. Get a grip.
If you buy something based on the recommendation of another person, give them a hat-tip, for Chrissake. It’s the POLITE thing to do.
Instagram’s lame idea to not show who follows you in your phone’s notifications, and to prevent third-party apps from telling you who is following/unfollowing you. I am so sorry to the people who have followed me and deserve a follow-back. Because of the way follower notifications work now, there is no way I can keep track of these in a meaningful manner. As long as you’re interacting with me in the comments section of my photos, and I see we have mutual interests, I will follow you back. But I can’t guess—I need your help. Please don’t be upset with me if I’m not following you back. And speaking of followers, private accounts with 0 pictures, 0 followers, but following 7 thousand people… derp?
Fraudulent giveaways. STILL, people. Still. It’s gotten better, but I see them from time to time. If you are ever dubious or doubtful of a giveaway, you have a right to call the person/brand out. Instagram has guidelines for this. We all have to play by and be held to the same set of rules.
Related to the point above: giveaway-only accounts. People who make Instagram accounts solely for the purpose of entering giveaways and nothing more. What’s the point? If you’re not actively contributing to the community, why should you steal the chance to win a prize away from someone who is?
Again, related to the point above: giveaways that require you to repost a giveaway image. No. Thank. You. NEXT!
Blogs that are nothing but pretty pictures coupled with gushing reviews—riddled with affiliate links, sponsored items, gifted items, and no disclaimer/declaration to be seen. Readers deserve better. Readers deserve to be informed. Reciting a press release verbatim and posting a flashy picture is not doing anyone any favours.
People on Instagram (brands included) that have thousands of followers and think it’s hunky-dory to ABUSE the comments section of YOUR pictures to gain exposure. And they don’t even follow you! Rude. I’m sure all of you have seen this. They will comment things like “neat!”, “super cool!”, and “nice one!”, and then just f-off, never to be heard from again. You have nothing in common with these people. They just want your followers to click on their page and potentially follow them. Does it work? Sure it does. Is it right? No. Every time I catch someone doing this I delete the comment and report the account for spamming. My followers and I found each other through mutual followers. Stay in your lane and go get your own. Piggybacking ain’t the ticket.
PR packages that are shipped to the recipient at a fee! If you are a brand sending samples to a blogger/vlogger/influencer, especially an international one, it’s probably a good idea to mark the declared value of the parcel as low as humanly possible so that the recipient does not have to pay customs/duties when it arrives!
People employed to handle marketing and PR who don’t have a clue. Give-and-take should always be assumed. You get a sample product in exchange for a review. You mention a service in exchange for a shout-out. Something along those lines! I can’t think of many people who will just do something out of the kindness of their heart.
The scaremongering that continues to be rampant in the skincare community. Parabens, sulfates, silicones, essential oils, there’s a new addition to the list every day. Newsflash: people can use whatever the heck they want on their skin. You can’t go around and preach sweeping generalizations to people with different beliefs and different skin needs! Let people learn about ingredients on their own and draw their own conclusions.
If you’re trying to make pseudo-scientific blog posts where you cite research articles, at least make sure that the articles are actually relevant to your point. For example, don’t assume that the conclusions of a study on a very specific component of rodent skin treated and observed under very specific conditions can be extended to humans conclusively using leap of faith logic. Try reading the entire study rather than just the abstract!
Non-declared PR items across all social media. Jesus Christ, people, it’s not hard. Put an asterisk (OR SOMETHING!) next to the product you were sent for free. And if you don’t remember what you’ve purchased versus what you’ve been sent, something has gone horribly wrong.
People who are die-hard for a certain product and absolutely refuse to accept the idea that maybe, just maybe, there is someone out there who doesn’t like it. If you dislike a product that someone else loves and they swerve into the comments section of your post to say that they love it: WHO. CARES. SERIOUSLY! This is even worse when it is done in a haughty, holier-than-thou way that tries to shrink and invalidate, making your negative/neutral opinion count for less than their glowing one. If you happen to hate a product someone else loves, tough. You can’t force someone to love a product. In the same vein, you might love a brand and have only ever had good experiences with that brand, but if someone else has a bad experience, it is NOT okay for you to invalidate that. Good experiences are independent events. Not everyone is going to have the same one. Let the brand handle (or don’t) their own PR. They don’t pay you to kiss their tuckus, so save your breath.
FAKE. PEOPLE. More specifically, fake bloggers. Oh, yeah, I’m going there. Because I’ve had it up to here *shows with hand gesture* with how phoney some people on Instagram have become. People I once called my friends! I’ve seen the corruption unfold right before my eyes. Let me tell you all something: what you see is not always what you get. (Sidebar: except with me. I’ve always and will always keep it 100%, and there are still some good eggs out there who are following the same moral compass and are doing “this” for the right reasons.) I’ve seen people create multiple fake accounts (private, of course, but they’ve slipped up when switching back and forth from their fake account and their main account) for the sole purpose of trolling and trying to get someone’s goat. Obviously they can’t do this on their main account that has tens of thousands of followers—no, they have to maintain their pristine image on there. More recently I’ve seen FULL REVIEWS posted on products that the person HADN’T EVEN TRIALLED YET! How does that work? 😉 Open your eyes, y’all. They’re right under your noses. Don’t support them. You guys deserve better.