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The Tragedy of the Influencer - A Symbol of What We’ve Lost

Today’s uber-famous internet personalities have amassed growing power and intense cultural scrutiny - but who is the influencer, really? The prevailing perception of the influencer trope is that they’re vapid, opportunistic, and self-obsessed. But we’re also starting to see stories that give us a more realistic portrait of the modern influencer: someone who’s hardworking to the point of being stuck in a constant grind, anxious or insecure about being replaced by competitors, and creatively trapped by answering to sponsors who care only about the bottom line of their views and conversions.

A recent standout narrative that gets to the heart of the modern influencer is SWEAT, which offers a fascinating portrait of the split personality of the modern influencer through the character of fitness influencer Sylwia. In public, she’s the motivational personal trainer who inspires religious levels of rapture from fans. In private, she’s a vulnerable, lonely young woman who has to live with the scarier realities of fame in an industry that trades privacy for views and fails to protect her.