QUESTION ASKED: Has the influencer bubble burst?
If you ask anybody under twenty about their life plan, social media will likely play some part in the answer. A friend’s nine-year-old son has just launched his own YouTube channel. My prepubescent cousins are telling their parents that TikTok is “the key to financial freedom.”
When I was their age, my entrepreneurial skills went as far as selling single cigarettes to my classmates for loose change. The appeal of the influencer life isn’t hard to understand. Over the last decade, it’s been touted as the sexy, well-paid, democratic career of the future. A 2019 Morning Consult survey found that one in ten young people consider themselves “influencers.”
But now these micro-celebrities are trading in their tripods and ring-lights for real jobs. The age of the influencer is swiftly coming to an end, or at least changing, in a way we have never seen before.
Hopefully, the spokestroll bubble has burst as well: The Rise and Fall of the Spokestroll.
As for change, trans activists already achieved a tectonic shift in the popular understanding of sex and gender, affecting a change so massive as to override the institutional acceptance of biological reality. Biological male athletes have been shellacking female competitors for years now. And the country’s leading medical organizations have all thrown in their support for so-called gender-affirming care of trans youths, with Boston Children’s Hospital at one point claiming that babies can accurately determine that their sex and gender are mismatched.
What’s left for an activist to do?
Well, gloat. Get in everyone’s face—even those who sympathize with you—and rub their noses in your triumph. So that’s what popular trans activists have been up to for a while—trolling. It’s what, for example, Dylan Mulvaney does, caricaturing feminine sensibilities and behaviors with the delicacy of a wigged wrecking ball. It’s what other TikTok influencers do when they rattle on about spreading the good word of transgender ideology in kids’ classrooms. It’s already in kids’ classrooms, and they know it. They just want to remind you.
Trolling is a strange approach to activism. Its purpose is to elicit rage, not sympathy. And that’s what it’s done. Predictably, Americans are now losing patience with these sore winners. The majority of the country opposes biological males competing in sports with biological females, and most believe that gender is determined by biology, not choice. The trans movement will reckon with its self-inflicted loss in due time.
But spokestrolls will continue to receive the support of the Weimar Republic in the meantime: Federal judge rules Tennessee restrictions on drag shows unconstitutional.