Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine gets honest about being an influencer
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Seven years ago, the word 'influencer' would have just been another name for leader or mentor, or someone that your parents urged you to stay away from through high school. It would have nothing to do with social media followings or promoting detoxing teas on Instagram. Today, social media Influencers flood our news feeds, showcasing the newest workout trends, the best new lipstick that can be purchased with the code 'INFLUENCER20', and how to style a 90s summer dress with pineapple earrings.
One of the very first of these Influencers (and front runner for the latter), is Leandra Medine, who started her blog Man Repeller in 2010. The Man Repeller Instagram today has 1.8 million followers (and counting) and the success of the blog has also seen Medine's personal account clock up a cool 501K followers.
Medine spoke candidly with friend (and Deputy Editor for Man Repeller) Amelia Diamond about becoming an influencer (as cringe-worthy as she finds the word), having that Devil Wears Prada moment, and what she would change if she could do it all over again. Here are four things she revealed in the interview.
1. Career Goals
"I didn't intend for Man Repeller to become much beyond a resume-booster to help me get a job at a publication following graduation. I had a dream of reporting at New York Magazine, or becoming a well-respected fashion editor... You know the scene at the beginning of The Devil Wears Prada, where the sea of fashion editors are putting on their heels and running across the Soho cobblestones to get to work? I wanted my life to look like that so badly"
2. Keeping the platform authentic
"When I launched in 2010, you didn't hear 'authenticity' and 'transparency' as often as you do today, but those principles have been such an integral part of my personal DNA and the DNA that runs through Man Repeller"
"I know myself to be an open book, to be someone who's all about heart and soul and wearing her guts on her sleeves, and it would be impossible for me to project a life that didn't feel reflective of the one I'm actually living."
3. Not selling out
"People are allowed to do whatever they want. It's their life, their social media platform. But they should be aware of the personality and lifestyle they're projecting and how comfortable they will be aligning with it in the future"
"You're not a sell-out for taking money, you're a sell-out if you sacrifice your point of view for the money."
4. The best part
"The best things about being in this world have been the relationships I've developed. If you're someone who has always admired the fashion industry from a distance, earning access is dreamlike. Suddenly you have relationships with these people who once seemed mythical."
You can read the full interview on the Man Repeller website here.
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