Catwalk crisis sparks debate on influencer qualifications

Photo by Photo by Instagram | The Daily Targum

Say the names Demi Rose and Emma Chamberlain to anyone who knows anything about modeling and high fashion, and they’ll most likely roll their eyes. Many fashion lovers are seriously concerned about what the presence of social media is doing to couture. 

Last week, the disagreement on Instagram models took on new lengths after a video of Rose spread across social media due to the way she walked down the runway. Many took to Twitter to call Rose’s walk a disgrace to modeling. “Only thing Demi Rose’ catwalk taught me is u cannot buy sex appeal," a Twitter user said.  

The debate seems to happen every other week on high-fashion Twitter. Do Instagram models deserve to be booking high-end gigs? Often, Instagram likes and followers translate to money and can determine whether models are getting booked. 

The rise of Instagram influencer culture attests to this, and the more likes you can get, the more cash you can attain. Some even extend this line of logic to Kendall Jenner and argue that without her name and following, she lacks the drive and talent to be a model.

Social media isn’t just changing who hits the runway, it’s also revolutionizing the way we apply and get jobs across almost every industry. Besides the usual argument that employers can see what each social media user does on sites, building a brand across social media platforms can be even more convincing than a resume. 

Social media hiring affects all sorts of mediums outside of modeling. Writers and artists are among some of the other professions that hire people directly off of sites like Twitter. Traditionally, writers sent in countless manuscripts to publishers in a desperate attempt to get published. Now, writers can get huge figure deals right off sites like Wattpad

When discussing who gets jobs due to an active social media, it’s important to note that class and race definitely play a huge part in this process. People who have the funds to do things like buying professional equipment or even hiring a team of marketers definitely have an advantage over those who simply can’t afford to pay for these helpful things. 

It doesn’t stop there. How about models who can afford to get plastic surgery to do things like make their faces more symmetrical? They obviously have a greater advantage in getting hired straight off of an Instagram post. 

Although this is usually the case, there are some obvious outliers to this theory. Take for instance viral sensation Brother Nature, a Latino internet personality who now works with animals across the globe. 

Starting with videos of him befriending a deer named Canela, he was invited to help work with animals on reserves and other such activities that some argue may need a more qualified person to undertake. Yet, his energy with the animals in his videos is undeniably present, and it’s clear that he has some sort of natural knack with animals. 

Perhaps we notice this influencer takeover with modeling more than anything else due to how visual modeling is. We can easily compare Instagram selfies to “Vogue” covers and notice the obvious differences between them. Often times, Instagram photos of models don’t exactly correlate to whether they can bring that energy to high fashion. 

It's also clear to see who is getting these opportunities. There are serious problems of racism and lack of diversity in the model industry and that can definitely be reflected from who gets casted off of social media. 

Whatever your take on this situation is, social media shouldn’t take precedence over talent. 

Above all, we as a society choose who to favor. Whether people are getting jobs from Twitter photos or resumes, they should have some degree of qualification.