They may seem trustworthy, but think again
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
Every time I scroll through my Instagram feed, many of the posts I see are either advertisements or Instagram influencer endorsements. For some, buying products because a celebrity said to is a no-brainer—you shouldn’t do it. For others, the answer is not so cut-and-dry.
In a 2017 poll by tech company Morning Consult to see how many people trust celebrity advertisements, it was found that 30 percent of millennials surveyed “give some credence to celebrity advertisements,” and 18 percent said they trust them a lot. That’s 48 percent of people who believe celebrity endorsements. I am talking to you, the 48 percent. Don’t believe whatever garbage these social figures are trying to sell you.
I know it’s easy to believe Instagram celebrity advertisements because they don’t even seem like advertisements. There’s a level of personability when following a celebrity or influencer on social media. You see their posts every day—what they eat, what they’re wearing, where they’re going. It feels as if you know them personally. As a result, when they make a post about a product they say they use, it doesn’t sound or feel like a commercial; rather, it looks like a recommendation or a review. It seems more trustworthy. Making celebrities endorse products adds a sense of trust and familiarity so people go for that product. Therein lies the rub.
Just because they seem genuine, doesn’t mean they are. In fact, most products endorsed by celebrities on Instagram or “influencers” are a huge scam. Take the detox tea for instance, or “teatox” as they so adorably refer to it. Although many celebrities and influencers endorse the product and the many different companies that have their own, detox teas are not good for you. These companies just prey on people’s insecurities to sell their products. Celebrities are only advertising these goods because they are getting paid to do it, not because they like or even use these products, which is one reason why you shouldn’t trust them.
Furthermore, despite those “before and after” photos, these products are often ineffective and can actually be really unhealthy (as with most products celebrities are paid to advertise). For example, the primary ingredient in these detox teas is something called senna, which acts as a laxative. Lyfe Tea states outright that senna “work[s] as a laxative by smoothing the muscles as digested food moves through the intestines. This helps to move it out of the colon.” It cleans out your system, all right.
This detoxing tea is not healthy or something people should be integrating into their routine, and they really shouldn’t be taking it for two weeks straight as a way to lose weight. Instagrammers don’t mention that in their endorsements, do they?
Think twice or even three times before considering purchasing a product you see advertised on a popular Instagram page. These people are getting paid to sell a company’s products, so they don’t really care whether the products work or not—and they usually don’t.