Had an interesting thought today while thinking about paleo in relation to clean eating (which I’ll explore in my thesis). Belle Gibson was recently exposed as a fraud having faked terminal cancer to build a reputation as a health guru and make tonnes of money at the expense of people’s hopes and dreams of getting better. It’s pretty obvious I find her actions personally abhorrent. I was thinking though how easily credibility is gained inside social networks by people who have none whatsoever, simply because they are in possession of savvy knowledge of the right hashtags and posts.
When I’m looking at who the influencers are in the wellness blogging field, people are often credible for aesthetic reasons ie. they are in possession of washboard abs, defined collarbones, bikram yoga membership in exchange for publicity and tanned skin. These qualities and not a degree or professional experience in the field are what count as credibility these days.
Perhaps this reveals something about why people are engaging with my own fake online presence?