Identity and Online Advocacy

Social Media Influencers and Identity Formation

Why It's Okay for Fashion Influencers to Influence Right Now

Social Media Influencers and Identity Formation

How individuals identify themselves and choose to identify themselves in online communities and networks have been largely impacted by the identity cues they pick up from influencers. Influencers on social media convey certain ideas, lifestyles and behaviours which advocate and inspire certain ideas and influences individuals to portray similar behaviours. Social media allows individuals to seek out appropriate communities, networks and groups where they feel a sense of belonging and is a ‘safe space’ for them to be themselves without any judgement. This study believes that the luxury fashion community has been found to be huge within young adolescents and has opened their eyes to a world that seems desirable but still reachable.

McAdams and McLean (2013) describe an identity as ‘a person’s internalized and evolving life story, integrating the reconstructed past and imagined future to provide life with some degree and purpose’ (Heshmat, 2014). An individual’s identity is formed indirectly from their parents, peers and role models. Psychologists presume that the process of identity formation is a matter of ‘finding oneself’ by matching their talents and potentials with social roles (Seibel, 2019). Thanks to social media networks like Instagram, an individual is able to communicate through appearance by allowing them to curate their own self-image and construct their own personal identity through the photos and videos they take and post on their account. Furthermore, individuals can browse online communities on this platform that they feel are inspiring and relatable, and also connect with influencers within these communities to admire and aspire to – especially within the luxury fashion community. Therefore, luxury fashion influencers on Instagram play a key role in advocatingcertain ideas, lifestyles, or behaviors which then influences how individuals build their own personal identities.

Leaver (2015) suggests that, ‘social media is most often researched in terms of the way individuals use the tools and platforms, or the way those individuals form groups of various types’. These groups that individuals form are now integral as this is the way that a majority of people interact with each other. These groups represent different communities and appear on a variety of different platforms where users are able to choose which platform and which groups appeal the most to them (Glezakos & Lazakidou, 2012). The organisational design of these communities embodies both aspects of what the community stands for, which are: social dimension (a community of people) and technology dimension (the interaction that happens online). An individual must look at these two dimensions and decide if they feel a sense of belonging and acceptance within this community. Tsai and Kilduff suggest ‘the type of network and community we form around ourselves affect everything from our health, to our career success, to our very own identities’ (Cronk, 2020). American philosopher, George Herbert Mead summarized this perspective in 1934, stating that ‘the individual only becomes a self ‘in so far as he can take the attitude of another and act toward himself as others act’.

(Bates, Hobman & Bell, 2019) Adolescence is a huge developmental period for an individual to form their own identity and social media has become prominent with all aspects of an adolescence’s daily life. Social networks have a deep impact on society as a whole due to the fact that they act as a ‘safe space’ for identity expression, exploration and experimentation (Gunduz, 2017). Within these ‘safe spaces’ individuals have access to communities and other individuals that they can either relate to or see as an inspiration. Individuals you may find within these communities and networks are called influencers. (Jin, Ryu, 2021) Influencers are popular users who have established a number of followers by being active or known within an online community which make them credible and appealing to their followers. Influencers generally appear on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. Abidin (2021) describes an influencer persuading an individual as ‘sentiment seeding’. ‘Sentiment seeding insidiously warms up and softens public reception to specific ideas, to shape and guide their slow, subtle but stealthy acceptance to them’.

For an influencer to have sentiment seeding, effect and sway over individuals they must always remain authentic. Influencers must remain authentic to have power within their own online community. (Dekkers, 2019) Having power within an online community involves process, dedication and hard work. Each post or interaction must match previous posts and interactions in terms of personality, identity and authenticity. This helps the individual trust the influencer that they aspire to. The social media platform, Instagram has been the most influential for identity building for an individual as it easily allows users access to connect and follow influencers within their desired online community (May, 2018). Particularly, the luxury fashion online community has grown and flourished on Instagram as it is made up of a majority of millennials (Moatti & Abecassis, 2018). Instagram uses visual content for users to communicate with each other, therefore it is well suited to luxury fashion brands who have essential visual and community dimensions: purchases from these brands are linked to feeling like a part of a specific community and through imitation of leaders in these communities (influencers).

The luxury fashion community on Instagram contains not only fashion but includes everything from seven-star hotels to luxury cars. This community is the goal for those who enjoy the finer things in life (Stratify, 2020). The first and most powerful kind of user in this community includes brand accounts as they are able to promote their products and show users a glimpse into the brand’s world. For example, French luxury fashion house Chanel open their world to their followers by sharing pictures and videos of their new fragrance launch party or backstage at one of their fashion shows (Moatti, & Abecassis, 2018). This lets individuals feel like they are part of the brand’s community. The second kind of user within the luxury fashion community are influencers and celebrities. Whether it be a paid post or a generic post, an individual has the ability to view this and relate or become inspired. The third kind of user within the community are defined as ‘followers’, ‘an audience’ or ‘the rest of us’ – those who unknowingly identify themselves within the luxury fashion community are heavily impacted by the identity cues they pick up from influencers (Cranston, 2019).

Picking up these identity cues from influencers, the individual then constructs and alters the way they are viewed online and offline. They want to show the world they are part of this community whether it be buying the same Prada handbag or Burberry coat as an influencer or even choosing a more luxurious brand of body wash at the supermarket. This is where the concept of ‘performing the self’ comes into play. (Dijck, 2013) Mark Zuckerberg once quoted, ‘You have one identity. The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly.… Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity’. When examining this quote further, it is discovered that an individual may want to fit into a certain community that they see on social media and television but are stuck in their own ways and habits that are preventing them from entering into their desired community. When an individual becomes an adolescent they have the opportunity to pick up identity hues from other individuals they get inspiration from. Imagine this – a girl from a small country town joins Instagram. She follows her friends from school on this platform but also stumbles across a luxury fashion influencer. The girl notices the influencer isn’t a ‘famous’ person and seems just like an average person like her. She notices type of lifestyle the influencer portrays online and is mesmerized. She has only seen celebrities wear these types of designer items and live in these cities. The girl is then inspired to move to a big city after high school and work hard to afford and be able to enjoy the finer things in life just like the influencer. This fictitious tale may seem abrupt, but when adolescences begin to search for a sense of self and identity, inspiration is drawn from any form of media that is in front of them – in this case it’s Instagram. Instagram helps young people ‘think about the person they want to be’ as they are exposed to a variety of communities and networks (Cranston, 2019).

An individual forming their identity around ‘thinking about the person they want to be’ falls into the liberal model of identity. This model is based on a liberal perspective where liberty and freedom is the basic political value. It believes people are of equal moral worth and individuals are so valuable to the point that they have rights that can be asserted against a government (Hawkins, 2019). It also believes individuals have the agency to form their own identity based on their aspirations and desires. They are also autonomous and make sense of meaning and agency. Since society as a whole is composed of individuals, each individual is unique and stable, and everyone has their own distinctive and sole identity. This liberal model of identity is relevant and true to today’s society where each individual is an essential and reasonable being, unlike a post-Marxist perspective where an individual’s identity is formed through state power and pulled into ideological systems.

With social media being the most researched in terms of the way individuals use tools and platforms and the way those individuals form groups are more relevant now than ever as it has become a major factor in the way individuals form their own identity. Individuals can easily find cues to form their identity by finding appropriate communities and networks where they feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. This process falls in line with the liberal model of identity where individuals have the agency to form their own identities based on desires and aspirations. Within these communities you discover Individuals that are called influencers. Influencers hold some kind of power within an online community – particularly the luxury fashion community. With this power, influencers teach their audience what to wear, how to style themselves, where to travel and live, which then adds to the formation of the individual’s identity. In some cases, which could be further studied, influencers can contribute to potentially harmful outcomes like feeling envious and left out instead of contributing to more positive outcomes like inspiration and self-expression. Being part of these communities help young people ‘think about the person they want to be’ as they are exposed to these influencers that live the life they desire. This then results in individuals wanting to show the world they are part of the community by changing their lifestyle, behaviours, actions and buying habits to emulate their own identity and showcase who they want to be.


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Bates, A., Hobman, T. & Bell, B. (2019) ‘Let Me Do What I Please with It… Don’t Decide My Identity for Me’: LGBTQ+ Youth Experiences of Social Media in Narrative Identity Development. Journal of Adolescent Research, 35(1), 51-83.

Cronk, G. (2020). George Herbert Mead (1863-1931). Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Dekkers, R. (2019). Influencers and identity. Who do you want to be? Diggit Magazine.

Dijck, J. (2013). ‘You have one identity’: performing the self on Facebook and LinkedIn. The Journal of Media, Culture and Society 35(2), 199-215.

Glezakos, N. & Lazakidou, A. (2012). Organisational Design of Online Communities. Springer Link.

Jin, S., Ryu, E. & Aziz, M. (2021). I trust what she’s #endorsing on Instagram: moderating effects of parasocial interaction and social presence in fashion influencer marketing. The Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management.

Kilduff, M. & Tsai, W. (2003). Social Networks and Organisations. Sage Publications.

Langer, S. Hennings, N. & Wiedmann, K. (2013). Social persuasion: targeting social identities through social influencers. The Journal of Consumer Marketing, 30(1), 31-49.

Leaver, T. (2015). Researching the Ends of Identity: Birth and Death on Social Media. The Journal of Social Media and Society, 1(1).

Lidstrom, E. (2019). What is Liberalism in simple terms?. [Online Forum Post] Quora.

May, V. (2018). Identity as a performance: How identities are formed within the fashion community on Instagram. Debating Communities and Networks Conference.

Seibel, B. (2019). Insta-Identity: The Construction of Identity through Instagram an Extended Literature Review. University Honors Thesis. Paper 747.

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Ugur, G. (2017). The Effect of Social Media on Identity Construction. The Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 8(5), 85-92.

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32 thoughts on “Social Media Influencers and Identity Formation

  1. Hey Celine,

    Very interesting read and very relatable for a young woman like myself! I completely agree that the way individuals choose to identify themselves is largely dependent on certain identity cues that they learn from social media influencers. Individuals are using social media to communicate through their appearance, allowing them to curate their own self-image and construct their own personal identity through photos and videos. Social media is after all a visual means of communication where the performer uses their body to convey the message and project certain information about themselves such as ‘movement, clothes, speech and facial expressions’ (boyd, 2009, p.128).

    I find it great that individuals find influencers inspiring and relatable, my only concern is that some younger audiences (predominantly girls) may take this admiration and aspiration a bit too seriously. For example, many girls may feel a real sense of pressure in keeping up with evolving trends, especially fashion trends as you mention. You also mention that “luxury fashion influencers on Instagram play a key role in advocating certain ideas, lifestyles, or behaviours which then influences how individuals build their own personal identities.” Do you think there should be any concern surrounding the fact that younger girls may be building their personal identities from stuff they see online? I’ve always held the opinion that what you see influencers post on Instagram isn’t ‘real life’ and that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to the unrealistic beauty standards that we see online. What do you think about this?

    I do think it’s great to see that individuals are able to seek out communities online where the feel they are in a ‘safe space’ free of judgement. Great paper!

  2. Hello Celine,

    It is a very interesting topic how you discuss the affect of influencer to social media user identity. From my experience doing internship in digital advertising agency back in my home country where I would need to deal with the influencer found that it is completely the same as what you wrote. The influence done by the influencer in social media are mainly for business purposes and it does great impact for adolescence target market. Overall your paper is well reference and well structure.

    Best Regards
    Christopher Benson

  3. Hi Claudia! This is actually such an interesting paper to read, in addition to a well-said argument and a well-written paper.

    To a certain extent I agree that social media is a vital instrument for adolescent to enhance their exposure regarding the world that could benefit their identity, authenticity, peer-interaction, and their potential future. However, I strongly believe that the dark side of social media and social media influencers are largely present that can negatively impact a person, especially children’s, mental well-being. With social media that are predominantly image and video-oriented, this can easily allows children to unconsciously compare themselves with what they see online. Comparison does not solely lies on physical comparison (body images), but it is also to accomplishments, materials, and economic status of a person. This self-comparison can lead to one having a lower self-esteem, lower self-evaluation and overall negatively affecting their social function in their present life and future life (e.g., in jobs, social events, family/love relationships, school). A 2021 study by Minsun Lee has proposed the bivariate correlation between a child’s constant exposure online with appearance-related photos to be condemning in their mental wellbeing. So from this I believe that yes, social media can be a tool to establish one’s self-identity, but do you reckon that the negative psychological impact of this doing outweighs the positive impact of the use of social media as a tool for identity formation?

    Lee, M., & Lee, H. H. (2021). Social media photo activity, internalisation appearance comparison, and body satisfaction: The moderating role of photo-editing behaviour. Computers in Human Behaviour, 114, 106579.

  4. Hi Celine

    This was a really well put together paper and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it so thank you for this.

    The way I present myself online is a lot more confident then how I probably come across in real life and I wouldn’t say that was deliberately done it just naturally happened this way.

    I think some people defiently try and act a certain way online but it also just a natural trap that others fall into quite like me.

    I enjoy social media because as you mention it has exposed people to things they wouldn’t know/ would have done before social media, which I 100% agree with.

    Thank you for this article it was perfectly written.


    Georgia Wiley 🙂

  5. Hi Celine, your paper talk about a different aspect of the influencer community on various social media platform. You spoke about ‘authenticity’ being a core for an influencer to keep its audiences growing but how can a person really say that whatever the influencer is projecting, is authentic? Don’t you think that in the end it is just a business for influencers who advertise products for companies as they are being rewarded for the content they created. Isn’t it more about manipulating the audience into believing the perfect product, which can impact on the identity of a kid?

    I would like to know your opinion on this.
    Hope to hear from you soon.

  6. Hi Celine,

    I really enjoyed your paper it was very interesting and insightful and a well written paper.

    I agree with you that luxury fashion influencers play a key role into how individuals build their own personal identities. The online world is a hug detriment when young teens are starting to form their identity and as people like luxury fashion influencers and other influencers alike

    I really resonated with the Mark Zuckerberg quote, ‘You have one identity. The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly.… Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity’. I feel this has been me over the years as I grew up with social media becoming more a part of my world and only now learning and weary of how influencers and social media has impacted my own identity.

    Secondly, I also agree that the current social media also plays a huge role in how adolescence form their identity online and in their daily life. Individual’s identities are formed massively in what influences share and post online. I really learnt a lot about sentiment seeding

    Thirdly, I do agree when you said, ‘everyone has their own distinctive and sole identity’, but their identity is not formed on their own it is heavily influenced by society and especially by influencers and the communities formed online.

    Have you thought of how one’s online identity changes their real-life identity due to online interaction and influenced heavily by influencers which are actually paid to promote products and a lifestyle that is glamorous and not actually what their life is like?

  7. Hi Celine,

    Thank you for sharing your paper – it was an interesting read.
    I liked your analysis of identity formation, and in particular, your citing of Read (1934) ‘the individual only becomes a self ‘in so far as he can take the attitude of another and act toward himself as others act’.
    Its very true – influence plays a large part, if not the entire part of navigating agency, choice and movement toward how an individual performs their self.

    Given that many have lucrative endorsement deals with the luxury companies whose goods they promote – their performance of identity is at least, in part, motivated by generating revenue – do you think that this is authentic and, do you think the the flow on effect for youth, who develop their identity through interacting with social media identities, could be negative? ie. They’re learning identity from people who’s online identity is entirely marketed for endorsements.
    I’m curious to hear your thoughts!

    I wrote about a similar topic and I’d love if you could check out my paper.

  8. Hi Celine!
    What an insightful and well-researched paper and I really enjoyed reading this. I agree with the arguments made and they were very thought-provoking, especially when you discussed how adolescences use the media as an inspiration to develop and influence their self and their identity. This is thought-provoking in the sense that there are two sides to this discussion as social media can be both a toxic and influential environment for its users.

    I also agree with your argument that social media has provided a platform for exposing its users to ideas and opportunities that they would not normally have without it.

    Influencer authenticity and portraying an ‘authentic self’ on social media has become a huge topic of conversation as this has impacted social media users negatively as the lack of authenticity puts a strain on the user’s mental health. Social media such as Instagram, have the tendency to portray an unattainable lifestyle, beauty standards, and body image and this negatively impacts its users. Although, more influencers have started posting unfiltered photos and are trying to portray their ‘authentic self’ in order to encourage people to do the same and to embrace their beauty.

    My question for you is do you think influencers tend to refrain from portraying their ‘authentic self’ because they are afraid of people judging them and therefore, won’t engage with their content because it is not what they are looking for?

  9. Hi Celine,

    Your paper was very interesting and insightful. It was very fascinating to read about sentiment seeding in your paper, however, I do have a question relating to that. As per the definition given, don’t you think that sentiment seeding is a form of manipulation performed by the influencers? You mentionned that for influencers to have a sentiment seeding effect, they need to remain authentic, to what extent do you think this is true? Because influencers are actually good at showing their audience what they want them to see, therefore, in certain cases not portraying much authenticity.
    Your paragraph on the performance of self was very insightful, the example used through the girl being inspired by an influencer and aiming for a more luxurious lifestyle etc is highly representative of today’s identity formation norm within youngsters. Therefore, social media, especially Instagram and its influencer community contribute highly in helping adolescents shape who they want to be. However, despite influencers giving to their followers this freedom of shaping their identity by taking inspiration from them and their lifestyle, don’t you find that in certain cases this can be deceitful?

    I invite you to read and comment on my paper which is on influencers as well however, I have taken another approach on the subject. Here’s the link to my paper:

    Looking forward for your response.

    1. Hi Yovan,

      Thank you for your comment on my paper. I am glad you found it insightful!

      An influencer performing sentiment seeding can be manipulative and toxic when the influencer isn’t genuine and is just after followers, paid promotions, brand deals etc. This is when the influencer isn’t being authentic to themselves and perceiving a ‘false’ identity towards their audience.

      It can be positive when the influencer performs sentiment seeding and they are authentic and truely believe and live the life they portray on social media. A great example of this is influencer and social etiquette coach, Anna Bey.

      Anna Bey was originally a luxury influencer who started a business to help and teach women on how to level up their life.

      I have linked her YouTube below if you want to check it out!

  10. Hi Celine,
    What an interesting paper! I thought it was really well structured and so informative.

    I am not very familiar with the luxury fashion industry and had not really thought about how luxury is something that many younger people aspire to when they see it on social media.
    I wanted to refer to this quote by Sungeun Suh stating “Posts from diverse, influential fashion Instagrammers and YouTubers are projected as lifestyles and values of the millennial generation, accelerating the digital renovation of the fashion system”(2020. p, 2)

    I think that the concept of the younger, more influential generation is so interesting when it comes to the way we describe influence. Influencers online whilst depicting ‘attainable’ goals are often put through a controversy when it comes to what they promote, what age group they are aiming for, and if they are participating in brand deals. I think that whilst there is a strong sense of relatability and authorial identity between influencer and follower. The way in which teens may form their identity online can be so damaging without them realizing it. I think that social media influencers their identity but may also create anxieties towards the way that various intersectionalities may come into play when it comes to achieving the idealized self that young teenagers see through influencers especially in the fashion industry that has been known to be damaging to mental health.
    Do you think that mental health and self-worth should be talked about more within the fashion industry, especially on social media platforms where it is harder to monitor certain activities?

    Hope you have a great day 🙂


    Suh, S. (2020). Fashion everydayness as a cultural revolution in social media Platforms—Focus on fashion instagrammers. Sustainability, 12(5), 1979. doi:

  11. Hi Celine,

    First, I’d like to say that this was a very interesting article, a topic in which I am very interested in reading and learning about.

    Secondly, isn’t it so interesting to see how these “ordinary” people as it may seem, to blow up overnight, simply because they’ve had one viral post or whereby it’s something they’ve worked towards. I also found very interesting how you explored the idea of identity and how adolescents are using social media platforms, such as Instagram as a safe space to get inspired and curate their own style by following their “role models.”

    But my question is, do you think that these teenagers/adults fall in a trap? Since they’re constantly following and keeping up to date with these ‘luxury’ influencers, that they fall into this unhealthy habit of comparing and realising that, they might not be able to afford the lifestyle or the object that their favourite influencer has, and be disappointed or sad?

    1. Hi Allan,

      Thank you for your comment! I do believe individuals that follow these luxury influencers have the power to interpret the content that is exposed to them – they can either get disappointed/sad that they may not be able to afford it or see this as inspiration to build a life for themselves where they can afford the same products/lifestyles as the influencer.

  12. Hello Celine

    Interesting read!
    Social media influencers undeniably have huge control over their followers and as discussed can cause confusion about the identities that users want to relate to. While some have positive influence in shaping identities, others can deflect users in adopting identities that are not true to them. This is a huge concern with the youth who try and ape the influencers without thinking much about the repercussions associated.
    I have written about the influence of social media on virtual food communities. With so much dependence on social media in current times influencers can have both positive and negative effect on communities, even make or break businesses. What are your thoughts on this?
    Would love to hear your thoughts on my paper.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Kanishk,

      Thank you for your comment!

      I agree, social media influencers do definitely contribute to an individual’s identity as they have a control over their followers. To address your concern, individuals who find themselves adopting identities that are not true to them can be unfortunate. To avoid this, individuals need to spend time and seek out different niches and groups and find one where they feel they fit in!

  13. Hi Celine,

    Your paper made some interesting points on how do people have an online identity. Its really interesting that influencers have this kind of ability to influence others to be like them. When you mention about the young adolescence I guessing you mean high schoolers aged 13-17?

    I definitely agree that they do use social media as a way to form their own identity but I also find that this kind of behaviour is more peer pressure. They will in a sense feel pressured that their role model is that kind of person and want to be just like them. This can be harmful to trying find their own identity. I do think it is good that they are exposed to it but how much can they be exposed to it before it has an effect on they psychology and emotion. Even adults who follow influencers fall into the same trap.

    Having an online identity is important and like you mentioned that our real-life identity must be similar to that of our online identity.

    Great Work!!

  14. Hi Celine,

    I find this paper very accurate to my own thoughts and beliefs. It’s crazy to think that influencers on social media have such power over their audience to create identity confusion/cause people to stray from their true identities. Sometimes I feel like they have almost created a society of clones and fake personality types – do you agree?

    I’ve written about social media platforms causing isolation among individuals, and I’ve touched on identity confusion in one of my paragraphs. Let me know if you have a read!

    1. Hi Scout,

      Thanks for your comment. I definitely agree it is insane that influencers have a huge power over their followers. They do ‘unintentionally’ create a society of clones as they can’t control the level of persuasion and imitation that unfolds. I’m not sure if you have heard of the influencer, Huda Kattan? She has created a huge fan base of over 48.5 million followers. If you look at the images she has been tagged in, they are all from dedicated ‘Huda’ fan accounts that post images of the influencer daily.

  15. Hi Celine,

    This was an interesting paper. I agree with the argument you propose, as social media and influencers do hold such power in disseminating messages to the masses in a manageable yet personal way.

    You frame this argument around ‘young adolescents’, but I think it would have been interesting if you drilled down a little more into this specific segment of the ‘adolescent’ demographic you are referring to. Adolescence is that formulative age between being a child and being a teenager or young adult, and I think you can agree that a 12 year old is vastly different to a 16 year old.

    Early adolescence is characterised by feeling lost within society, and the reason they want to try to find an identity is because they are grappling with their newfound understanding of the world and where they fit into it. But what are some other key characteristics of young adolescents that encourage them to turn to social media influencers? Why would adolescents want to associate with luxury brands in particular, because I’m not so sure an adolescent, the younger ones at least, truly understand the “finer things in life” quite yet.

    The paper I wrote is also within the identity stream, but instead of focusing on how we use social media, it looks at what happens to our social media when we die. .

    1. Hi Gemma,

      Thank you for your comment!

      Early adolescences who are lost within society and want to find a world where they fit in generally turn to social media as they are exposed to numerous communities and groups that can help them find what they like and who they are. They may not be interested in ‘luxury’ as they don’t understand the finer things in life yet. I definitely should have been more specific when I mentioned adolescences being easily influenced by the luxury fashion community.

  16. Hi Celine,

    An interesting read which by reading from other comments can be quite controversial! One point I found interesting in your paper was the end where you spoke about further research to be conducted was the harmful outcomes of influencers especially in the luxury/high fashion industry having a pull on how ones identity is constructed. I personally think that the aspiration to dress like someone or live like a influencer we like to follow can have very damaging consequences which can lead to unhealthy habits to look like the person whether that be diets or workout regimes. In regards to dressing like an influencer it can also have negative consequences especially in the luxury fashion industry with most people not being able to afford luxury clothing items and accessories. With people wanting to reach that identity without being able to afford the identity this can lead to people finding alternative and potentially illegal ways to achieve this goal.


    1. Hi William,

      Thank you for your comment. I do agree that an individual consuming and exposing themselves to the luxury community can turn negative when they can not afford the same lifestyle as them. Although, it does depend on and come down to the person’s core values where they have the ability to change this negative feeling to feelings of motivation and inspiration. I do believe this is different for every individual as they have the power to interpret how they perceive and consume content.

  17. Hello Celine, your essay is pretty good. You have talked how online world construct the offline identity of individuals, and moreover how luxury online contents affects the identity of online viewers, if i have correctly understood. Uhm. I do not agree with ur arguments to certain grounds. If you have multiple identities online (affected and created by the luxury community), can you ever be a complete person offline? It is true that by viewing luxury contents, makes one to become very ‘aim-ful’ or having a ‘goal’ mindset. I am afraid that it can appear as a form of social comparision for some individuals, as they can feel ‘they have better than me’ , ‘why can’t i afford this’ ‘feeling envy’. In reality they can adopt and exerce a negative identity (such as; anger/frustration). This often happen with those who are at low hierarchal society and who do not have a reinforced upbringing and values. Because ‘the ignorant are the ones who will judge first” . So do you have a solution on how to battle this mindset/issue?
    Anyways my darl, good work 🦋


    You may have a look for my paper, its ‘instagram: a virtual platform in crafting the well-being of young women’ 🧚🏻‍♀️🧚🏻‍♀️🧚🏻‍♀️

    1. Hi Mageswari,

      Thank you for your comment on my paper! I definitely agree there can be negative aspects to wanting to aspire to fit in with the luxury community. When individuals compare themselves, feel envious and have feelings of ‘why can’t i afford this’ – it can make them adopt a negative identity. It does depend on and come down to the person’s core values where they have the ability to change this negative feeling to feelings of motivation and inspiration. Although, I do believe this is different for every individual as they have the power to interpret how they perceive and consume content.

  18. Hi Celine,

    I really enjoy your paper, but I have a question about the the authentic side of the influencers identity which is an aspect that I wrote about too about. So do you think that in some case some influencer create an authentic self which do not form part of their identity at first as a way for the audience to link more with him.

    I am really looking forward to know your view about this.
    And your paper is very good and engaging.

    you can have a look at my at my paper where I also take about influencers identity.
    Here is my link :

    1. Hi Marie,

      Thank you for your comment, I am glad you enjoyed my paper! That is an interesting question that I have not considered before. I do believe there are certain niches and groups across social media where an influencer can ‘fit in’. To grow their following within their niche, they definitely have to ‘amp up’ their content. For example, a luxury fashion influencer may need to purchase luxury branded clothing and accessories on a more regular basis so they have content their followers will enjoy.

  19. Hey Celine

    I very much enjoyed your paper. I think this is a very interesting topic as in the grand scheme of things, social media influencing is something that has only recently been recognised as something that could be a professional career.

    I agree with your argument that social media platforms have provided a platform for exposing people to ideas they wouldn’t have had before. However, I think the opportunities of young adolescents joining the influencing scene are very limited. I imagine it would be much easier for someone to become successful in this field if they were young, healthy, and attractive. I don’t mean to say that someone who isn’t any of those things can’t be an influencer, I just think their opportunities are far more limited. Do you agree with this?

    Thanks for a great read!

    1. Hi Matthew,

      Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you enjoyed my paper!

      The opportunities of young adolescents joining the influencing scene can be limited but there are niches, groups and communities for everyone. For example, if they aren’t ‘young, healthy, and attractive’ but are still interested in eating out or cooking, they can definitely join the influencing scene as a food blogger – where the content that is posted is mainly images of food. There is always opportunities for everyone as there are endless niches and groups amongst social media.

  20. Hi Celine, this was a very interesting read, thank you for sharing it! I found your argument very thought provoking, particularly the part on how adolescences use media as inspiration to develop their sense of self and identities. I agree that social media platforms are important to this process by exposing people to new ideas that they would not have access to in their physical communities and providing a safe space for people to experiment with new identities.

    However, do you think that social media is powerful enough to inspire individuals to detach from their past self and create an entirely new identity for themselves? Or will individuals never fully be able to let go of the values and beliefs that they were raised with in their physical communities?

    I have written about a similar subject, how Instagram Celebrities encourage the formation of Feminist identities. Please check it out if you have time! Here’s the link:

    Thanks again for the great read!

    1. Hi Rebekah,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you found my paper thought provoking. I believe individuals do have their own physical beliefs and values (religion, family, morals etc.) which they stick to and is the core of their identity. I also believe that individuals are also easily inspired and motivated when they are exposed to a certain lifestyle which can contribute to them changing their priorities and preferences.

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