the Skimm With
Natalie Sportelli and Liz Toney
If it seems like “de-influencers” have become the new influencers, you’re not wrong. Rather than trying to sell the latest beauty product, de-influencers warn people about brands and items that aren’t worth the money or hype. That seems to be hitting a nerve. The videos have garnered more than 175 million views, prompted plenty of headlines, and raised questions about the future of the influencer marketing economy — which topped $16 billion last year.
Q: Recently, de-influencing has gotten a lot of buzz. Is the idea actually new?
Toney: The concept and practice of de-influencing is not new. It’s similar to mindful consumerism, which is on the rise. The format and communication of de-influencing through social media is a recent development.
Sportelli: The reason this is catching on is that people for the first time, in a big concerted effort, are hearing from others about what wasn’t worth the money or value. That unified effort, especially on a platform that delivers information and news about products like TikTok…is altering the conversation around consumption.
Q: Why now?
Toney: Shifts in the economy, consumerism, and how we engage with social media. Budgets are tighter and furloughed employees are feeling financial pressure. We are seeing “recession core” as a trending term among Gen Z. While de-influencing as a trend may have stemmed from recent online discussions concerning a recession, it also reflects a desire for authenticity.
Q: Is de-influencing sparking conversations about who you can actually trust?
Sportelli: Influencers’ whole business is appealing to and building this audience where there’s a level of trust and authenticity…But if influencers are not being fully transparent or honest, then that puts into question influencer marketing and those influencers’ relationships to those products. When you get down to the core of it, people really value recommendations and honesty from real people.
Psst, this interview has been edited for length and clarity.
😀 In culture...
The next season of “Ted Lasso” is officially kicking off soon, followed by the “Bridgerton” prequel everyone is burning for. Meanwhile, S Club 7 is proving there’s still no party like an S Club Party — even 25 years later. And while P!nk fans are raising a glass to her new album, Taylor Swift was crowned the world’s highest-paid female entertainer on Forbes’ annual list. And Meredith Grey is saying farewell to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital...at least for now.
🏠 In home...
The latest scentsation? Candles that smell like burgers, croissants, and other savory snacks. TBD on when there’ll be one for TikTok’s newest trend: Pickles in a blanket. Also, don’t be surprised if everything’s coming up roses — and daisies and tulips — way earlier than expected. Or, if you start to see oddly chic sofa covers everywhere. Speaking of the return of the ‘90s, say hello to “Enyacore.” Who can say where the fashion road goes?
🧘 In wellness...
A new birth control pill for men is showing promise in early trials with mice. But it’s still a long way from being approved — and the real trial might be getting men to take it. Oh, and a good night's sleep in winter might protect heart health, while it turns out that beans could be good for more than just your heart.
*Slams laptop shut until Monday.* We know the feeling. And we’ve got some tips for escape.
Mark your calendar: Mardi Gras is on Tuesday. While the truth is that there’s no place quite like the Big Easy on Fat Tuesday, you can get into the festive feeling wherever you are. So whether you’re celebrating on Bourbon Street or on your own street, here’s what you need to know to let the good times roll...
If you’ll be in the Big Easy for Mardi Gras: Expect over-the-top parties and parades on seemingly every street. Find the full schedule here, but don’t miss the 151-year-old Krewe of Rex or the Krewe of Zulu, which is known for its coconut throw. Just make sure to dress the part. Meaning, in costume and/or with lots of purple, green, and gold. For pre- or post-parade fuel, pick up a king cake from one of the city’s best bakeries, like Manny Randazzo or La Boulangerie. Worth noting: Some businesses are closed on Mardi Gras, so plan in advance. Also, whether you’ll be in NOLA next week or next month, no trip is complete without a stop at Cafe Du Monde for its world-famous beignets, a visit to the French Quarter for a ghost tour, and a jazz show at Kermit’s Tremé Mother-in-Law Lounge in Tremé, the oldest African American neighborhood in the US.
If you’ll be anywhere else for Mardi Gras: Plenty of other cities host Mardi Gras celebrations, so make sure to do a quick search for local parades, parties, and events. Otherwise, you can always get into the spirit from the comfort of your couch. Decorate your home in green, gold, and purple. If you have kids, they might enjoy making their own shoebox float...or turning your entire home into a float. Then whip up a NOLA-inspired feast like shrimp and grits, muffulettas, and, yes, homemade king cake. Pair it with the Big Easy’s official cocktail, the Sazerac — or if you’re not a whiskey fan, try a Hurricane.
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