So let me get this straight: over 56% of girls in Australia aged 15-25 would leave their education or career to become influencers (The Influence Index), nearly 66% of plastic surgery patients in Saudi Arabia are motivated by social media (King Abdulaziz University Hospital), and Facebook’s own research shows 13.5% of UK teen girls have increased suicidal thoughts after using Instagram.
But we’re worried about Andrew Tate? At least he’s an ex-professional kickboxer and former chess champion who has something to offer and teach to young boys about work ethic and making something of your life.
Now on the other hand, when it comes to female influencers, let me put the statistics into perspective for you: we’ve got an entire generation of young girls whose role models are not doctors, not lawyers, not scientists, not engineers, not journalists, not even homemakers (hey, being a housewife is a 24/7 job – and I’m not talking about those sitting around all day while their help does all the work).
No, their role models are girls like Kylie Jenner who, instead of enjoying her teenage years, becoming a chess master at 5 like Tate did, or even opting for a kickboxing career, chose to go under the knife to presumably look more sexual and desirable and attract a following on social media. And it works. She is one of the highest paid influencers in the world.
What does she teach our young girls? Unlike Tate, who teaches boys to work hard, Jenner is telling our young girls that there’s no point in going to school, or getting a degree, or working to get your dream job, because you’re more likely to work twice as much, only to get paid half as much as a “fashion” influencer.
I’m not talking about influencers with talents who are pursuing careers while using the platform to help promote their skills. I’m talking about talentless influencers using the platform to basically sell their physical image.
So why wouldn’t our young girls take Tate’s advice and opt for a man who isn’t necessarily loyal (he doesn’t believe men are meant to be monogamous/loyal to one female partner) but who financially takes care of her and protects her?
Is Tate really the problem, or are we? Have we become such champions of victimizing ourselves that we can’t tell when we are a huge part of the problem?
A plastic surgeon in a certain GCC city told me on condition of anonymity that he operated on a 12-year-old girl, with the approval of her parents, and who was motivated by social media. Do you know what I was doing at 12? Not being operated on to look physically more desirable.
The worst part is that social media like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube are female-dominated. Nearly 77% of influencers on those platforms who are actively monetizing their content are female, according to a Collabstr 2022 Influencer Marketing Report.
But what’s even sadder is that while women are going through all of that to look more desirable on social media, male influencers are still earning 7% more than women on these platforms, according to a 2019 HypeAuditor study.
Equal rights = equal accountability
Andrew Tate may make points he’s not as qualified to make as, say, a clinical psychologist or data scientist. But we don’t have to agree with him. What we do have to do, however, is take accountability.
If Tate was banned for having certain views towards females, shouldn’t figures like Kylie Jenner also be banned for actively producing content that is harmful for young women? It doesn’t take a clinical psychologist to know that her image – which is only attainable through digital filters but is presented to be realistic – has a negative impact on her millions of followers. It doesn’t take a psychologist to know that social media personalities have a negative impact on young girls who are working twice as hard but getting paid half as much.
If we want equal rights, ladies, we need to take equal accountability and responsibility for our actions, too.
It’s not the likes of Tate who are resulting in a more depressed and insecure generation of women. We are doing it all on our own. Just like we’ve been the ones raising boys, as mothers, with specific gender roles and ideologies, for decades, only to place the blame entirely on the men. If we are profiting off of our bodies on social media, then we are objectifying ourselves, which leads to misogynistic views that objectify women.
I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of being the victim, because that means I’m taking away my power and giving it to somebody else.
Instead of blaming Tate for having sexist or misogynistic views, let’s stop victimizing ourselves yet again. So let’s choose to be nobody’s victim by making better choices for us and for our children.
Ironically, banning Tate shows we care more about protecting our young boys than we do our young girls. Because if we really wanted to protect our young girls, the likes of Kylie Jenner would have been banned from social media a long time ago.