Virtual Influencers, Real Beauty Standards
Allure’s article “The Future of Beauty: How Robots Are Setting the Beauty Standards of Our Future” suggests that Influencers are the modern-day equivalent of Egyptian gods. While some may dismiss this claim as an exaggeration, it holds more truth than one might think.
In ancient civilizations, gods were revered as the epitome of beauty, and today, influencers have assumed a similar role in the eyes of the public. The emergence of Virtual Influencers has further solidified their prominence in the Beauty and Fashion Industries as preferred Marketing tools. Consequently, VI’s can potentially redefine our perception of beauty and beauty standards.
The evolution of beauty standards can be easily observed through art, from the statues of robust female deities in Mesopotamia to Andy Warhol’s portraits of Marilyn Monroe. Beauty standards constantly fluctuate based on society’s chosen icons of beauty. Consider the controversy surrounding the 2021 Met Gala, where Kim Kardashian, the central figure, attempted to don Monroe’s iconic dress after undergoing an extreme diet.
Historically, female portraits could be seen as the earliest form of “non-human” Influencers.
However, contemporary society has bestowed the title upon the iconic Barbie doll. Barbie was initially created as a blank canvas for young girls to project their aspirations, and she was imbued with a voice, a life, a home, and a story.
While Barbie may be the first non-human Influencer, she certainly won’t be the last.
CGI-created Influencers have thrived in the realm of Social Media, amassing thousands of followers who consider them as reference points when making fashion, skincare, and beauty purchases. With 52% of users now relying on TikTok to explore new beauty products, it is no surprise that beauty brands are increasingly aligning their Marketing strategies with VI’s.
These Virtual Influencers have the power to represent all skin tones, body shapes, hair textures, sexualities, and genders. Some of the best-known brands have created successful campaigns with Virtual Influencers, including:
Balmain X Shudu
Fendy x Imma
Noonouri X Roberto Cavalli
Virtual Influencers endorse various beauty products, showcasing different makeup shades and discussing their skincare routines. Given the ability to design VI’s to meet any criteria, diversity, and representation have become crucial in the Beauty Industry.
Beauty brands can leverage this trend by creating Influencers targeting specific demographics, enabling them to develop products tailored to individuals with darker skin tones, experiment with bolder makeup looks for gender-nonconforming individuals, and establish a direct association between their products and a Virtual Influencer’s image.
Hylink has a deep “bench” for virtual and AI Influencers that can be of service. Alternatively, creating your brand ambassador might be the best way to long-term success in the future of influencers.