Tuesday, December 12, 2017

4 Things Home Decor Influencers Don't Tell You

Over recent years, “influencers” have -- as one might expect from the name -- had a huge impact
on our culture. For those influencers that operate in the home decor and lifestyle category, the doors
are thrown open, and their lives are shared with their loyal followers. Instagram is the most popular
platform for these influencers, but plenty of specialist home design blogs also exist-- you may even
follow a few of these yourself.


As nice as these influencers’ feeds and blogs are, it’s vital to remember that what is being shown
is probably not an authentic representation of their lives. Many followers have tried to replicate the
look and feel of an influencer’s home, only to find themselves struggling-- and feeling rather
despondent as a result. This issue is compounded by the expense of trying to achieve these perfect
homes.


What’s really going on


These home decor influencers are not revealing the full picture of how they live. In a way, it’s
similar to the tricks that the beauty industry uses to sell makeup. Beauty advertisements are known
for confusing realities, such as advertising a mascara with a model who is clearly wearing false
eyelashes. These tricks are often seen as a grey area in advertisements, which are heavily
regulated-- but there’s no such regulation for influencers.


The result of this problem is that you may find yourself scrolling through your Instagram feed or
visiting your favorite lifestyle blog and feeling… a little inadequate. Influencers seem to have the
perfect home all the time, which can be disheartening if you’re living in a home that’s surrounded
by clutter, and your “areas I want to renovate” list is spirallng out of control. People describe
themselves as seeing their homes, and their lives, as somehow inadequate as a result of the
exposure to such perfection from influencers. If you have ever experienced this, then you’re going
to want to read on.


So the next time you see a photograph showing a gorgeous home that looks like it naturally repels
dirt, it’s worth reminding yourself of a few things…


#1 - Every single photo is staged




No matter what the caption says, you should always look at any images you see of an influencer’s
home with a skeptical eye. Influencers stage photos; and to an extent, you can’t blame them for
that-- though the ones that don’t admit to doing so are a little more ethically dubious. For an
influencer, there’s no such thing as a ‘candid’; everything is always managed to perfection, adjusted
and altered, situations created out of nothing. It’s no different from how professional photographers
stage a scene to create the perfect image, even if influencers are doing this in their own homes.


In no area is this more obvious than the kitchen. Kitchens are practical rooms; they are there for a
purpose, meaning that they see a lot more mess and disruption than anywhere else in the house.
Bear this in mind the next time you see a photo of a gorgeous kitchen that makes you want to
entirely renovate your own. It’s one thing to browse through Tap Warehouse and treat yourself to a
new sink because you want to; that’s a good decision, but the decision should always be yours,
rather than powered by an influencer’s photo that is staged anyway.


So while you can enjoy photographs of beautiful homes, it’s important to remind yourself every
now and again that the image is beautiful because it’s been staged to perfection.


#2 - Photos are always edited


If you were to go and snap a photo of your kitchen right now, it wouldn’t matter how good the decor
was-- it still wouldn’t look like the images you’ll see from influencers. The reason for that is simple:
photo editing.


Most of us think of photo editing in terms of airbrushing, which is used to change a model’s body
when advertising clothes or makeup. However, photo editing is used in another way by influencers.


This is primarily seen in terms of light. Have you ever wondered how influencers manage to
achieve such light, bright rooms? The answer is simple: they don’t. Instead, they take a standard
image, and then turn the brightness up in PhotoShop or similar programs. Some influencers may
even go a step further, and remove clutter or unsightly objects from an image. It’s therefore important
to bear in mind that any image has been edited, so you cannot expect your home to ever look the
same.


#3 - Angles are very cleverly chosen




If you look at the photo above, you’ll see that it shows a large expanse of a gorgeous room-- but
you don’t know what’s going on behind the camera. The kitchen surface could be a mess; or the
TV could have wires protruding at every angle-- but you can’t see that, so it’s like it doesn’t exist.


Influencers use angles as a kind of manual editing tool; always remind yourself of this when looking
at their photographs.


#4 - “Reviews” may actually be paid sponsorships


Finally, a moment to discuss a sad reality. If an influencer is paid to feature a product on their blog
or social media, they are supposed to disclose this fact to their readers… but many don’t. Buzzfeed
found that 93% of celebrities don't disclose sponsorships/freebies properly, and the number is
likely similar for the less-famous influencers.


So if you see your favorite influencer extolling the virtues of a new product, it’s worth wondering if
their opinion is genuine, or if it’s been paid for. At the very least, make sure you check out a few
other reviews before you spend.


To Conclude


Influencers produce stunning images and can provide wonderful tips on how to manage your home
and decor, but they are not necessarily representative of real life. Before you consider upgrading
areas or your home or feel downhearted about your current decor choices, remember the points
above, and you’ll always be sure to have the right perspective in mind.

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