the influence of de-influencing: because capitalism just isn’t trendy anymore


photo: alexander kovacs from unsplash

Every year there seems to be a new “trend” consuming social media platforms and their top content creators. Recently, popular creators have begun to trade in their “influencer” title to instead become the “anti-influencer.”


De-influencing is when social media users tell you what products or content that aren’t worth your time and money instead of pushing for you to buy “must-have” items. 


This trend, if lasting, could have a positive impact on mitigating the increase in consumerism seen during the rise and current peak of social media.


According to the Digital Marketing Institute, 49% of consumers rely on influencer recommendations


Recommendations can be made both for or against a product for trend. Take for example TikTok user themelaninemorgan’s classic de-influencing TikTok about what products you don’t need to buy.

This message can mean a lot in terms of the overconsumption that influencers can heavily cause by constantly recommending new, expensive products to their viewers. Instead of instantly recommending the new, trendy items that come out, influencers have the power to give viewers a more critical look at the trends they’re buying into.


But de-influencing may not be a solution to the increasing capitalistic consumption, but rather a replacement.


Many influencers have begun to give alternatives or “dupes” for super expensive beauty, fashion or lifestyle-related items. This may seem helpful in the moment, but in the end, could just contribute to the growing landfill and excess of unused products. 


Tiktoker Simplyaubrie shares this exact sentiment when it comes to “Clinique’s Black Honey lipstick.”

@simplyaubrie If I see the word DUPE one more time on my FYP I’m going to scream. I don’t want this to come across as tone deaf, it’s more about overconsumption, not about buying THE product because it’s trending. I like this #deinfluencing trend right now. Is the Clinique Black honey Lippie worth it? Not really? The formula is nice if you need more hydration, but the color pay off is just ok. I don’t think a lot of the “dupes” are either. I saw a girl buy like 8 different lipsticks trying to find a dupe, and I was confused. Don’t spend more money trying to find a product that will replicate the look. Tik Tok pushes capitalistic consumerism more than any other form of media, and it’s crazy to me. I know a lot of people out there want to find dupes because it’s what they can afford (I’ve been there!), but ultimately do you need it? Go try the real thing and decide if it’s worth saving up for or treating yourself too. Otherwise look at what you already have, and know that you definitely don’t need that extra product you may barely reach for. Shopping for dupes actually only furthers this unhealthy desire of overconsumption! #downwiththedupes #blackhoney #blackhoneydupe #consumerism #overconsumption #beautytips ♬ If you see this follow me lol – Mary🪬

Even as the “capitalistic ideals” become less and less popular, we still continue to over consume products as a society on a large scale. The idea that you can “buy into” a certain lifestyle keeps influencers peddling one type of product or another. 


Even though de-influencing may not be exactly changing or decreasing consumer statistics, it is a step in the right direction toward the new generation’s mindset.


According to a NACS statistic, “thirty percent of Gen Z consumers make purchase decisions based on brands’ social and political beliefs, while 24% boycott brands that don’t share their social or political beliefs.”


In a way, this mindset connects with the mentality behind the de-influencing movement through the ideals of really considering the ethics, finances and quality behind the products the next generation chooses to spend their money on.

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Hi! I’m Catie Pusateri, A Magazine’s editor-in-chief. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.