Influencers often come under fire for various misdemeanours – whether it’s for the relentless promotion of ‘skinny teas’ or some dodgy photo editing, there’s usually something to be grated by. Yet, over the last few months, the frustration has mounted to new levels. As we in the UK endure our third round of lockdown, an increasing number of influencers have jetted off to Dubai to escape the restrictions over here, under the guise of business trips.
Whilst all non-essential travel is advised against, the COVID-19 UK guidelines do make exemptions for work-related reasons. A flock of influencers have taken advantage of this, heading to Dubai to shoot content for their social medias and justifying it all by tagging #ad. Though they claim they are essential business trips, what exactly is stopping them from getting content at home?
It’s an incredibly tone-deaf move – whilst the rest of us continually sacrifice and struggle through never-ending restrictions, their experience of the pandemic is so far removed from reality it’s hard to digest. Molly-Mae Hague, who won Love Island 2019, has shown that their likes and ads won’t suffer just because she isn’t posting bikini-clad beachfront photos from somewhere overseas. Her recent posts in the snow back in Cheshire achieved similar likes to her Maldives holiday highlights only a week before. Instead, the opposite seems to have occurred: many have taken to unfollowing the influencers to escape their shameless holidaying posts.
Some, like Anton Danyluk (also from Love Island 2019) have taken to posting photos of their laptops in front of the stunning views outside of FIVE Jumeirah Village Hotel, where most of the influencers appear to be based. This, and similar photos, seem almost as staged as the #ads they’re apparently there for. It’s a stark contrast to the isolated Zoom settings in the UK.
When Dubai initially encouraged tourists back in July, their numbers of COVID-19 cases had dropped significantly – over the last month they’ve risen to the highest they’ve been thus far in the pandemic, with 3,591 new cases on 25th January. There’s significant reason to believe there’s a link between the two – it is not only frustrating from a UK standpoint, seeing them disregarding measures when we’re all dealing with them, but it’s a selfish move to transmit the virus further to Dubai too when it is fundamentally unnecessary.
Other influencers, like Dr Alex George, who featured on Love Island 2018, have used their platform for good – not only has he remained an NHS frontline worker throughout the pandemic as an A&E doctor, but he is also showcasing the realities of his job and sharing tips on how to protect your mental health throughout lockdown. With so many followers, they could be using these platforms to benefit others and boost morale through this time – instead, they’re just inciting more criticism.There has been increasing disillusionment towards the influencer lifestyle over recent years, but their complete disregard for the restrictions has just added fuel to the fire. There’s no doubt that everyone would love a holiday right now, but it just isn’t possible. It seems completely unjustifiable for influencers we follow to be jetting off and flaunting about it all over our newsfeeds – is it a sign of influencer culture going too far? There is nothing essential about their work, and even less about flying to Dubai mid-pandemic.
Image source: Unsplash