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Kentucky Kernel

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Influencers deserve to be in the spotlight

@emmachamberlain on Instagram

Social media influencers are all over our timelines. We consume their content on endless loops, generating countless views for these individuals and catapulting them into stardom.

Despite the talent of some influencers, fans and critics alike question if these online celebrities deserve the same recognition as A-list artists.

This debate picked up traction in 2021 when Nikita Dragun, a beauty influencer, tweeted “influencers are the new celebrities. i said what i said.”

Influencers put in countless hours of work into the content they create.

The work they do can sometimes rival that of movie stars, as influencers create their own content, edit it and distribute it. They usually do all this work without much compensation, as well.

Emma Chamberlain is one influencer who maintains a seat in the spotlight.

Starting her career on Youtube in 2017, Chamberlin became a fan favorite for her relatable personality and witty humor.

In recent years, however, Chamberlain has been seen at some of the most popular events like the Met Gala, arguably the most watched fashion event of the year and known for its star-studded guest list and unforgettable looks.

Chamberlain conducted interviews for Vogue in 2021 and 2022 with fellow celebrities as they made their way into the event. Some of her interviews have gone viral thanks to her personable interviewing style and the connection she seems to have with her interviewees.

Chamberlain’s presence at the event, however, sparked controversy on why she was there.

In an interview with V Magazine, Chamberlain addressed the push back, stating, “I understand that kind of discomfort comes from people who have been into fashion since they were younger, [where] maybe it was before this was all a thing, and seeing digital influencers come in feels wrong.”

Chamberlain continued, however, saying, “At the same time, the world of fashion and fame has to evolve in order for it to grow, so this is a natural part of that and it only makes sense.”

Chamberlain is not the only online influencer to brush shoulders with celebrities at the Met Gala. In 2021, online personalities including Addison Rae, Dixie D’amelio and Eugene Lee Yang made their debut at the event.

Many took to Twitter, slamming the event for inviting influencers.

One such viewer wrote, “You know celebrity culture is goin down the tubes when they invite YouTubers to the Met Gala.”

Why should influencers like Chamberlin, who rose to fame online but have talent comparable to the best actors and performers, take a back seat when it comes to high-profile events?

Just because these online personalities make it to the top through social media does not change the power they hold or the work they put in to get there.

Something that is often overlooked in this debate is the marketability of influencers and how beneficial their presence can be for profit.

Influencers provide excellent advertisement for any company hoping to have their product take off in sales. A simple “Get Ready with Me” video on TikTok can generate revenue for companies as fans scramble to buy an item influencers praise.

The entertainment industry is a business after all, and digital influencers provide a valuable market that some celebrities can’t.

Big name events, like the Met Gala, are a reflection of our culture. As such, influencers have become an immeasurable force to be reckoned with online as communication channels have advanced.

These content creators deserve to be acknowledged for their talent.

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