Friday, August 5, 2022

Influencers Have Been Around For A Long Time.

Influencers are found everywhere on social media.  They have over a million followers and what they do causes people to rush out and follow them.  They might share their own products or others, or recommend places to go.  They've developed their brand, find their niche, and sometimes, they get into trouble like the mother who decided to regime her adopted child and faced public opinion.  However, before social media, before television, radio, or movies, there were influencers who people tried to follow.

There was one influencer back in the 16th century who had women dyeing their hair and eyebrows, wearing her type of makeup. They wanted to be just like her.  This woman's name?  Queen Elizabeth I.  She didn't have access to social media as we know it so she used the media she had available.  She had tons of portraits painted to show everyone who she was and to create her brand.  She had that look of reddish hair, with high forehead, and a very pale skin created by a lead based white makeup. Due to her media campaign, women wanted to look like her from head to toe, just like today.

Another early influencer was the Italian painter Titian.  He painted beautiful red haired beauties causing many women to want to emulate the color.  He showed women in various states of undress but never naked and he influenced women in Italy to look more like the women he painted.  Furthermore, his work garnered him an international following.  He also created new techniques that others adopted and created a new style by combining Renaissance with Mannerism ideals. 

One big influencer of that time period was William Shakespeare.  Yes, the same man who wrote "Romeo and Juliet" and other such plays.  His sphere of influence was the English language. If you so a bit of research, you'll find he helped standardize grammar, spelling, and vocabulary.  He contributed about 1700 original words to the English language and we use some of them even today.  He is responsible for phrases like "Full circle", "Sorry sight", and so many others.  In addition, he chose to use words in new ways such as gloomy that was originally a verb but he used it as a noun. 

On the other hand, a later influencer was Max Factor, the same man as the one who started the makeup line.  He started out creating the makeup looks seen on stars in the film industry.  Of course women wanted to recreate some of those looks but could not until he started releasing eye shadows to eyebrow pencils in 1916.  This was the first time, women had access to makeup outside of the film industry so they could recreate the looks they saw.  He continued releasing makeup so soon women had access to everything from foundation to mascara and more because he believed that any woman could achieve the looks he created for films if they had the correct tools and he did.

The last person I'm looking at who was an influencer was Coco Chanel.  She knew women and created fashion to be worn by them.  In the process of producing clothing that stayed in fashion, she created one of the first :"brands".  If you say you are wearing a Chanel, a picture pops into your mind because her name is connected to her style.  She started trends such as "The little black dress" and two  toned shoes.

So from early times on, there have been people who created their own brands, marketed them, created a following, and influenced the world around them.  They were some of the early influencers who made their mark long before the invention of social media.  Let me k now what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great weekend.

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