DiscoverThe DailyThe Sunday Read: ‘The Beauty of 78.5 Million Followers’
The Sunday Read: ‘The Beauty of 78.5 Million Followers’

The Sunday Read: ‘The Beauty of 78.5 Million Followers’

Update: 2021-04-044
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During the pandemic, cheerleader-ish girls performing slithery hip-hop dances to rap music on TikTok has been the height of entertainment — enjoyed both genuinely and for laughs.

Addison Rae, one such TikToker, is the second-most-popular human being on the platform, having amassed a following larger than the population of the United Kingdom.

In seeking to monetize this popularity, she has followed a path forged by many social media stars and A-list celebrities like Rihanna and Kylie Jenner: She has started her own beauty brand.

On today’s Sunday Read, a look at how beauty has entered a phase of total pop-culture domination and how influencers are changing the way the sell works by mining the intimate relationships they have with their fans.

This story was written by Vanessa Grigoriadis and recorded by Audm. To hear more audio stories from publishers like The New York Times, download Audm for iPhone or Android.

Comments (1)

Gatita Vaughan

This was a really compassionate approach to an extremely delicate topic. It seems to me that the beauty industry is the same as it always was: wealthy corporations using naive young girls to push and enforce expensive and unachievable beauty standards on other women and girls. The modern twist is that we are now using the language of empowerment to rebrand good old fashioned gender roles. If we are only so creative as to imagine female empowerment as women unabashedly embracing traditional gender standards does it really spell liberation? Or is it just another corporate ploy to convince women to spend our money chasing the ever elusive beauty standards to hopefully be someone else's object of desire? well done thanks for the inquisitive and non judgemental reporting.

Apr 8th
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The Sunday Read: ‘The Beauty of 78.5 Million Followers’

The Sunday Read: ‘The Beauty of 78.5 Million Followers’

The New York Times