The most viral — and bizarre — social media influencer stories of 2019
If you’re still asking what a social media influencer is in 2019, then you’re probably not alone.
One thing’s for sure: influencers and bloggers keep the Internet talking, and this year was no different. While their job titles may be questionable, their ability to drive “likes” and comments is undeniable.
Take a look back at some of the most viral influencer stories of the year.
Trash-talking mommy blogger
A popular mommy blogger from the U.K., Clemmie Hooper, made international headlines after she apologized for creating a fake account on a gossip site, where she trashed fellow influencers and even her own husband.
Hooper claimed she created the account to defend herself anonymously against negative comments about her online. The ordeal, however, took on a life of its own.
“It became all-consuming and it grew bigger than I knew how to handle. I regret it all and am deeply sorry — I know this has caused a lot of pain,” she said. “Engaging in this was a huge mistake.”
Vegan blogger goes back to meat
Fans of vegan influencer Alyse Parker were shocked when they learned that she had returned to eating meat and animal products — she even revealed she was healthier because of it.
“I had my own fair share of health struggles and eventually reached a breaking point where I was willing to try anything to function properly again,” she said.
“I swallowed my pride and decided I’d give it a shot,” she added. “Full-on carnivore. I woke up the next morning feeling more mentally clear, focused, wholesome and healthy than I had felt in years.”
Hunter mom decries death threats
Lucy Rose Jaine, a mother of three, went viral after revealing that she received death threats over posts of her posing with the carcasses of animals she hunts herself — also often showing some cleavage herself.
The 29-year-old mom said she and her family eat the animals they hunt because they’re opposed to eating meat from a factory farm.
“It’s free, it’s fun and it helps the farmers,” she said.
Plus-size blogger channels Meghan Markle
What better way to go viral than to recreate popular looks from the world’s most talked-about Royal?
Katie Sturino, a 36-year-old plus-size blogger, did a series of fashion shoots in which she dressed like the Duchess of Sussex.
“Women often feel that celebrity style is inspiring yet unattainable. Quite often because they feel that they need to be a size 0 to pull off the look,” Sturino told Fox News. “I want to show women that style has no size.”
Unfortunately, not everyone loved Sturino’s body-positivity recreations of Markle’s most famous looks. Some commenters made fun of her size and even accused her of promoting unhealthy bodies.
“There is a war on women’s bodies in the media and beyond,” she said to online haters. “It’s scary that a woman who is almost the average size in this country would be regarded with such shock!”
Mommy blogger admits to sex worker past
A mommy blogger came clean about her past as a sex worker after it was circulated online by someone she said tried to discredit her.
Candice Brathwaite, a popular U.K. blogger, shared with her followers that six years ago, she participated in a documentary about sex workers because “for a time, I was one myself.”
“It has come to light that something I was hoping, for the sake of my children, not to have to address (until later in my life when they are older), has been shared online and circulated to my professional partners by someone trying to discredit me,” Brathwaite said.
“Life is complicated. I can’t pretend I have all the answers but I am trying to be as transparent in this moment as I possibly can be,” she added. “If what I have done has caused harm and pain than I am truly sorry.”
Instagram star fails to sell T-shirts to millions of followers
Influencer Arii’s hopes of starting an online fashion brand were dashed when her 2.6 million followers failed to buy the minimum number of T-shirts requisite for starting a collection.
The news sparked a discussion on the power of marketing and branding in the age of digital fame, with one Twitter critic going so far as to wonder if the “influencer bubble is bursting.”
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The 18-year-old social media personality lamented that no one “kept their word” in promising to buy her merchandise, and the clothing company she had worked with pulled their agreement when she wasn’t able to sell at least 36 T-shirts required to launch the line.