With Haley and Hanna Cavinder announcing that they’re eschewing a final year of eligibility to turn full-time influencers, this seems as good of a time as any to share an influencer take that was naturally occurring. Seeing as it’s easiest to write when you’ve got a muse, and site output is down, this is a win-win for me (and, hopefully, you). My take on influencers is we’re getting close to a pivot, and some pop culture personality is going to flip the tables on internet culture the same way Nirvana did on Milli Vanilli.
All of that is ironic because ’90s fashion is making a comeback, and the only reason I can think of for that is that the trends are cyclical. What do you think Kurt Cobain would do if he knew that he inspired a generation that created a generation that has adopted his band’s merchandise but also an ethos that’s antithetical to everything he stood for?
I tell you what he’d do, he’d raise up out of his grave just to put himself right back in there after two hours on Instagram. There’s more than enough angst on the internet to blindly follow a would-be Night King and whoever that person is, I hope they’re a big proponent of distortion, telling sellouts to fuck off, and have so much juice that they can actually get people to devalue likes and reshares.
If you’re asking if I’m talking about eliminating an entire workforce, that’s exactly what I’m proposing. Was anyone mad when we moved on from hair bands? Influencers are the equivalent of late-’80s glam bands but in wolf’s clothing, and I’m not here for any of it.
Social media has made popular people even more popular, which is exactly what happened with the Cavinder twins. They built a massive brand at Fresno State despite not winning much, parlayed that into a transfer to The U, and were on a team good enough to get ESPN exposure. That in turn led to more followers, and I guess a big enough following to take whatever their talents are full-time.
What’s next for the twins? Who cares?
There have been rumors of a shot with the WWE, and I can’t think of a better welcome-to-the-rat-race moment than working under Vince McMahon. Whatever they choose, they need to pick something because life as an influencer isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The Cavinders have been outspoken about how hard the job is, and how it’s time-consuming keeping up with the ever-shifting whims of the internet.
The Atlantic even wrote a story about how influencers are trying to unionize because of the demands of being internet famous. I’m in a union myself, and I would empathize if I saw a redeemable quality to their profession, which is monetizing not talent, but rather, popularity. A lot of these influencers have already struck the genetic lottery and benefit from everyday perks not afforded to normal people. Now, I’m supposed to enable them even further by liking, subscribing, and buying whatever it is they’re selling?
Get the fuck out of here. Having talent used to be the one thing that equalized the playing field. If you were attractive and could hoop but not well enough to make the WNBA, that’s where your 15 minutes faded. The Cavinders are simply prolonging their shine.
Call them entrepreneurs, businesswomen, and pioneers of the NIL era all you want, but they’re not serious people. Today’s society sees the Roy family as sympathetic figures to aspire to, yet I would love it if Succession ended the way Seinfeld almost did: With a fiery plane crash. Even in make-believe, what has Kendall, Shiv, or Roman done to deserve what’s been handed to them?
What would you say you do?
And that’s my question to influencers: What has any of them accomplished to merit coverage, opportunities, and a following large enough to garner endorsement deals? Won a couple of NCAA tournament games on the back of their teammates? That’s at least more than most, so you have to give credit where it’s due — and stop there.
Maybe I’m just pissed that I’m not good at the internet, but I’d have to care about something to be mad about it. I’m fine with not being a professional cup stacker because being a professional cup stacker is incredibly lame. If I ever have a grocery store display to put up, I know who to call. After that, I fail to find a reason to be amazed.
That’s where I’m at with Haley, Hanna, and all of the influencers. Tell me why I should value what you do. The Cavinders opted out of their last year of eligibility because basketball wasn’t the main focus anymore, and I appreciate the honesty.
If I may be candid though, that’s been apparent for a while.