Why Does Everyone Want To Be An Influencer?

Why Does Everyone Want To Be An Influencer?

How many of us have actually thought of starting something of our own, because the nine to five job wasn’t cutting it? I’m sure you’re guilty of it too. It sucks, I’ll give you that, having to work for someone else when frankly, you’d be much happier being your own boss.

Every influencer comes into existence this way. Full-time or otherwise, influencers become influencers because they are really driven by the will (or often, the wish) to start something new. There are two kinds of people: one, that create content based off of actual talent, and two, that buy followers because brands often believe in the numbers game. Which essentially means that the more number of followers an influencer has on social media, irrespective of how much engagement they actually have, the more the recognition they get from brands. Indian brands are one hundred percent guilty of this: not naming names, but I’ve seen brands sending PR packages and handing out sponsorships to XYZ influencers because they have 54k followers, when they themselves follow only seventy people.

So when you follow a very limited number of people, but you’ve got a considerably huge following, it gives the illusion of importance.

Who exactly is an influencer?

From the Internet:

A Social Media Influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach. resources. Discover Brand Influencers to Expand Social Reach.

So, why the sudden rise in the “Influencer trend”?

Simply put, it’s easy money, and it never asks for a degree or in many cases, talent. People with awful content sometimes end up as successful influencers because they’re really, really good at handling sponsorships.

Many influencers in fact are so good at sponsored content, the audience won’t know they’ve been taken for a ride – not until the end of the video they’ve posted. By then the views have already been garnered.

And many people are actually ballsy enough to email brands asking for free stuff so they can showcase it on their Instagram. This is a cringeworthy tactic but it’s worked for someone I know. It’s working for someone I know, as we speak.

With a rise in social media posts, and a few carefully bought followers, it’s easy to make the quick buck just by endorsing a product, a process much less tedious and way more enjoyable than a desk job that would give you headaches and backaches and too much stress.

In conclusion…

…the euphoria induced from reaching a cult-status, the fame and the brand-sponsored-trips, the power to be pseudo Twiggy and Coco Chanel, has reached a manic frenzy and it’s like this apple that everyone is dying to have a bite of. And the power to promote consumerism and to make profit from it is something of a greed, that becomes insatiable. The more you have, the more you want. The more you want, the more you push. The more you push, there’s no stopping. It’s like an inflammation that keeps intensifying. And it feels good.

The next time you see your former best friend promoting Mama Earth, remember you can shoot them an email too. Everyone has access. It’s just so easy.

Hearts

Hearts

Do you remember our first date? I do. It was super warm, even for October. I remember how I’d left in a rush, and that I’d given myself a nice little bruise on my thumb from trying to get out the door real fast.

You see, I hated to keep you waiting. And I did manage to get there in time. With literally five whole minutes to spare. I was so proud of myself. It wasn’t much, for a first date, but we both decided on a dinner and a drive because we wanted to talk and get to know each other better.

You said hello and we were both so awkward, but only at first. You, you gorgeous man, you were so good at breaking the ice and making me feel comfortable, my paranoid heart decided against reaching for the pepper spray when you held my hand in the restaurant, for the very first time. Yes, I did carry pepper spray in my little clutch. Dad insisted I bring the taser, but I didn’t. You should be thankful. Ahahaha.

I’m so glad to this day, that you picked the corner booth – it was both cosy and cute. And you didn’t judge me when I ate too much chocolate mousse and got it all over my face. You laughed and said I was adorable.

I can’t believe you actually remembered my birthday even though we’d only officially met the other week. We got super late, and it was getting close to midnight and strangely enough, I didn’t even panic. You excused yourself and stopped the car and got out randomly and I thought, of course there’s a catch and he can’t be that perfect, so I guess he’s going to hurt me now, but no it was you with a cake and candles and balloons shaped like hearts and my Dad and Mum on FaceTime on your phone, all of you singing happy birthday. My heart stopped then. I remember all my fears washing away and thinking to myself, who said arranged marriages aren’t romantic, and the rest of the night passed by in a happy blur.

The connection our hearts made that night, and the way things turned out, oh it was meant to be. And now here we are, two hearts united and happy.

PS: This was based on a friend’s “arranged marriage” story.

The practice is quite common in India, for those of you that don’t know, and people seem to be okay with it. Although there are a million horror stories of failed or unhappy arranged marriages, there are some like the one I just told you, and it’s so heartwarming, you know? Do you know of anyone that had an arranged marriage and is extremely happy? Tell me about it.

I Cheated and Felt Good

I Cheated and Felt Good

I’m guilty.

I’ve never had these …lapses. Never before. But I managed to slip up this one time.

I was home alone. He wasn’t around. The cat wasn’t around. The dog was with him. Everyone else was on holiday. Everyone but me. And when the cat is away…

The mouse will play. The girl will play. Argh. Ugh. Okay. Deep breath. Got a story to tell here. I’m sure you’re all like:

I’m gonna start from the beginning. I was unhappy. I didn’t like my routine, gym was frustrating the crap out of me and I couldn’t handle it anymore. It began one lazy Friday evening. I usually teach a batch of kids English on the weekends but my class had prior engagements that day, and they didn’t show up. What was a lonely woman to do? I logged in on to one fine app, started scrolling.

My, my.

All of that delicious, airbrushed looking skin. I could almost taste it through the screen. Yum. See, that’s how it started. With “this one little bite that couldn’t possibly hurt, could it?”

The thing with cheating, dear friends, is when you bite, you eventually start to fall. And with the falling comes the drowning. One weekend led to more weekends. One day of scrolling led to more days of scrolling. More days of cheating. You wouldn’t possibly know the satisfaction you get from giving into what you’re craving and before long, it becomes this addiction you can’t shake off.

One step forward, thirty billion steps back. You know it’s wrong, but it feels so good and you can’t stop.

And that’s how I cheated on my Keto. Happy April Fools’ Day, one day in advance.

Okay, PS: Swiggy and Zomato and other Food Delivery apps are really bad for you. Specially when you’re on Keto and you want to eat that box of beautiful, airbrushed looking donuts. Dear me. I think I broke Keto thrice and okay, it felt good but I guess I gotta uninstall all those apps now. I have zero restraint when I don’t have family around. Send help.

On Hipster Readers

On Hipster Readers

I’ve noticed a trend these days: people seem to be posting photos of themselves reading, on their Instagram stories. And when you get super excited because that’s one of your favorite reads they’re seemingly engrossed in, and you reach out to talk about the book – only to realize that they’re just doing it for the ‘Gram, it makes you incredibly sad.

Books don’t deserve to be treated like fashion accessories, you guys. Just because a book has a pretty cover you wanna show off, doesn’t make it okay to post about it and just leave it lying there. Can you imagine how bad this book must be feeling? If you’re only just posting pictures of it, give the book away once you’re done. Books aren’t meant to just adorn your walls, you know? You shouldn’t be projecting intellect when you’re the exact opposite. I think you should draw the line at fashion blogging and leave it at that.

I’ve seen people on the metro reading books with weird covers, only to realize that those aren’t books at all, and that someone’s photographing them. I found this article online and the author has the same issue, as I do, with this kind of reading. Also, this trend is going really viral in India. People that claim to not be influencers actually post about it a lot. And about a hundred percent of the time, it happens to be a book from their partner’s collection – and this partner never shows up on insta but actually reads and loves books like crazy.

As if that wasn’t enough, this extremely shameless person once confessed to me about it. That she doesn’t read and has never read a book in her life apart from the course stuff in college, and that she only posts snippets on Instagram because she was love with the idea of reading because it made her look intellectual. Also, this was the same person that only cared to stay friends with me because I was Bengali and that appealed to her. I mean, the gall.

Imagine if all our friends were to choose us based on where we came from, and were constantly pretending to read books while never having read even one page. Oh, the horror. Do you have any friends that fake read?

The Evolution of Music

The Evolution of Music

Hello, my love.

See what I did there? No? If you’re one of those people that grew up listening to Westlife, Backstreet Boys, Avril Lavigne, and other older artists, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Westlife were on this hiatus and we thought they’d never come back and then they popped back into the picture with their newest offering, Hello my love. This makes my heart so happy. My Love is actually one of my favorite songs ever. Ooh ooh. Also, their single Better Man reached the top of the iTunes Charts within mere hours of its release just yesterday.

2019 is already off to a good start, people.

I remember back in the day when music would make you feel good, when music wasn’t something you’d had to play in secret because the lyrics were so vulgar they’d make a sailor blush. I’m looking at you, Cardi B. Leaving aside the fact that her name sounds like it could have a very good market as a vitamin supplement, her lyrics and her gyrating is just too much. Also, whatever happened to the Bruno Mars we so loved back in the day? The new video for Please Me is NSFW.

The only different – and good thing – about the 2019 music scene, to me, is probably Billie Eilish. She’s seventeen and slaying. Everything she does, and the music videos she makes, always have people talking. I love it that she doesn’t seem to sell sex (reminds me so much of old timey Avril Lavigne) and she doesn’t act like a crazy person, and that every song of hers has such deeper meaning that whatever meets the eye. So yay, Billie.

I remember being obsessed with boy bands in general. Pretty much like every other nineties baby. And now that those bands are making a comeback, I couldn’t be happier.

Although, pop disruptor Bebe Rexha is someone I listen to on a regular basis, her videos are kind of cringeworthy. Specially that video for Last Hurrah. Yikes. Also, did you know, that her biggest commercial success was this country song she did with Florida Georgia line? Crazy, huh? There’s nothing this woman can’t do. Ooh.

Also, how cool are these angel wings? Do you have a favorite nineties pop band?

Actually Painful Stuff

Actually Painful Stuff

Have you read Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda? Becky Albertalli just casually throws a line in there about how exhausting blogging actually is. That’s the number one thing on our list today: blogging, on the daily, is painful. Painfully hard.

Is there anything harder than that? Yes. Challenges. The 365 day challenge. The gallon-of-water-a-day challenge. The no sugar diet challenge. The list goes on. Now don’t get me wrong – we love lists on this side of the Internet. We do. In fact, my blog seems to be filled with listy posts that people actually managed to read without falling asleep. So yay, go me. My point here, before I digress, is lists are hard to do. Both to make and to stick to. Also, I cannot tell you the number of lists that I have taped to my fridge. It’s more like a noticeboard that’s kind of screaming for help with things left unchecked. Life is mental. Life is batcrap mental. Send help.

You know what else is difficult? Trying to live with Indian parents whose maid just quit on them. Again, don’t get me wrong. My parents are wonderful people. It’s the maid that’s kind of super attached to her new grandkid and didn’t want to be a maid anymore but kind of needed the money – so long story short, she got found out stealing moolah from our wallets and tried to make us look bad and well, um, she quit. Maid culture is rampant in India. Your mum won’t miss you when you’re not around but she’s going to miss the maid. She’s going to be all depressed because she’s the ONLY person who’s working a nine to five job in the circle of other brown mommies, and has to come home and make her own tea. I think this bothers her more than anything else, making her own tea. She detests her own cooking. Go figure. And she won’t like it if you make tea for her because the maid simply does it better. Like holy wow.

Now, as if THAT wasn’t enough, there’s my most painful experience ever – having to wash my makeup brushes every Sunday. It’s a process. You gotta find your brushes first. Make a nice concoction with dishwashing fluid and olive oil, making sure you don’t mess up the ratio. Next, you need to clean the pink Sigma glove you use to swirl your brushes on, so the dirt comes out. And you’ve to do all of that without annoying your mum and her ritualistic Sunday-cooking frenzy. And then you’ve to leave the bushes to dry and put them back in their proper containers so they don’t look messy.

It’s tough being a woman. It is.

*THIS POST HAS BEEN WRITTEN IN JEST. TAKE ALL OF THIS WITH TEN PINCHES OF SALT. IF YOU ARE HYPERTENSIVE, TAKE IT WITH HALF A PINCH OF SALT.

Allergy Season

Allergy Season

I don’t need alarms to wake me up these days. Thanks to the summer cold situation. It doesn’t even help that the air is to teasy with pollen, that my eyes are perpetually watery and my nose is constantly runny, and I’ve used up more tissues than the average public loos. God help me.

Allergic rhinitis is like that ex that won’t leave you alone. You’d think Cetrizine or Montelukast or other antihistamines would do the job and help with your allergy situation but oh no, you pop pills and go to sleep and you oversleep and you miss the morning workout. And that makes you grumpy and the goo oozing from the nosie doesn’t make it any better. Sigh. What a life, guys.

I’ve been atopic my whole life. I get it from my dad. Which means, once I’m exposed to even the tiniest fleck of dust or pollen or whatever, I’ll go red and rashy and end up looking like I’ve recently been burned in the oven. Thanks, Pop. And when you’re a physician, you can’t tell your patients that you’re sick because they lose faith in you (my doctor can’t cure herself) and that’s the worst thing ever.

Then come the food allergies. I can’t eat shellfish or eggplant. My cousin can’t eat his coveted poached eggs. My best friend can’t eat chicken without getting severe reactions. This one time it got so bad, she needed epinephrine shots. Yikes.

And all of that is bearable.

You know what’s the worst thing, though? When you’re allergic to cats. *sobs quietly* I love cats. The Persian ones. My friend had the cutest cats back when I was in college, and I couldn’t even play with them too much because I would end up sneezing my head off. And you don’t want your head to explode around cute furry animals. I have this friend who’s a teacher and is allergic to chalk dust. I wish her university would provide her with a damn marker pen and a whiteboard instead of the old timey backboard and duster and chalk. It’s painful, y’all, having to teach kids and be sneezy and sick and be allergy ridden and dripping nosie. Argh. If you’re reading this post, Ren, you know it’s for you. I hope you get better soon. And your Uni shows some kindness.

Coming back to me, I wish I could enjoy spring. I wish I could breathe in the nice crisp air instead of having to wear a mask all the time. So annoying.

Random Deep Thoughts

Random Deep Thoughts

• I just found this article on some blog. You guys need to read it, right away.

Apparently Iceland’s declared religion as weapons of mass destruction. I found it extremely unreal, and soon enough, it was declared a hoax. Fake news. And that we all needed to chill. Well, obviously. I guess religion happened in the first place because people agreed to disagree. In a healthy way. Without deciding to bite each other’s heads off at every instance. But then the Internet happened, and people started misusing resources and here we are today, in 2019, with guns and bombs and heated debates, all going nowhere.

I wish people would stop taking things so casually.

• How did “cancel culture” get so popular? I get it, Jeffree Star is as iconic as it gets but he could use his platform to be a little more well, Jeffree.

• Is it just me, or does Billie Eilish seem to be channeling Avril Lavigne, circa 2002? Here’s Billie. The hair. The very unique voice. The music videos. The baggy clothes.

Tell me this doesn’t remind you of Lavigne. She was a seventeen at this point too, and she was a pop disruptor and she was hailed as Anti-Britney.

Mind. Blown.

• Unpopular opinion – Balenciaga is overrated. I mean, their stuff isn’t even cute.

Seriously, were they drunk while designing these shoes? I mean, who asked for this? Most importantly, who OKAYED this? It looks more like a freaking lawnmower than a shoe. Thank you, pass.

• Cooking is therapeutic. A clean station, chopping onions while channeling your inner Gordon Ramsey when you’re home alone is blissful. Take it from me. Oh my. Oh my. The sheer bliss of having produced a perfectly Instagram-y sunny side up egg is just… *bellissima*

I talk about 🥚 a lot on my blog. I need to stop. Y’all probably think I’m constantly gassy and weird. I’m not.

Do you happen to have a random thought right this second? Let me know!

Holi and Polling Season

Holi and Polling Season

I’m just going to go ahead and say it. I detest Holi. It’s this loud Indian festival of colors and pretty much everyone seems super into it, except for me that is.

I’ve never been a very social person, and I remember this fateful Holi of 2010 when my friends tried to make me come out of my dorm room and socialize. I was in the hallway and then suddenly, someone upended a whole bucket of nasty water over me. See, that’s the thing. We Indians tend to make everything twisted. You got your basic Holi stuff – you know, play with dry organic colored powder and slap it on each other, if you must, but why do you want to play with really muddy looking gross water? That’s beyond me.

And HOLI crap, did I come down with a bad cold the next day. Trying to concentrate on class while battling a sneeze-fest is the hardest thing ever.

So the Lok Sabha elections are in the pipeline and we’re dealing with a population that’s divided – one half wants BJP to win, the other half doesn’t. It’s crazy to see the supporters of Ms. Mamata stoop to seriously low levels just to try and get her the votes needed to win. We’ve had patients come to us, drunk so surreptitiously out of their skulls they couldn’t even remember their own names. Imagine that, on top of the Mamata frenzy, and the trail of colorful powder they managed to drag into the hospital. Super unsanitary. And if you refuse to see a patient, you get beaten up. Ah. Life’s sweet.

Which makes me wonder: if Holi is the festival of colors, why must you take drugs or drink too much? Does it make you experience the psychedelic rush that I’ve heard kids in college hype up? Does it make Holi better? Also, why do women get eve-teased so much on this day? Does color on your hands give you the right to molest women? The least you could do is be responsible:

• Don’t get drunk. Not only does booze have empty calories, it also messes with your last two brain cells.

• Don’t make prior appointments with your doctor if you can’t stay sober or talk sense. If you’re a doctor, close down your clinic for the day. Only tend to emergencies. Your own safety is important too.

• Don’t force people into playing Holi if they’re not into it.

• Do NOT start a political discussion in the middle of the road – it’ll end in a fight and you’ll have a brilliantly black eye and it’ll hurt. A LOT.

Happy Holi, Folks.

Should You Even Keto?

Should You Even Keto?

Call it the latest trend if you will, but it’s the coolest diet out there for a lot of people. The celebs are doing it. The plebs are doing it. And so is a lot of us in between.

Now, the question is: how safe is this whole thing?

Pretty much like with most new dietary changes, you need to take a few points into consideration before you jump on the bandwagon. Heh heh. I know people that said they weren’t influencers or bloggers but they suddenly started blogging out of the blue. Which means, whatever you don’t wanna do at this point, you will someday for sure. Coming to the safety of Keto – it’s safe. BUT – and there’s a big but – you need to get your vitals tested, and you need to talk to your doctor before you proceed.

I’ve been on Keto for a while now. It’s been going great. I haven’t broken it much. So yay, go me. This is coming from a person who’s tried going vegetarian and vegan and couldn’t stick to either – but has successfully managed to be on Keto for a good four months now. A few pointers to get you started:

• What exactly is Keto?

Your body runs on the fuel it essentially gets from carbohydrates. But on a Keto diet, the carbs are replaced by fat and protein. So when the body doesn’t have carbs to burn, it turns to burning fat instead. That’s when your body produces ketone bodies and the process of ketosis starts. You’ll probably have a lot of bathroom problems even when you’ve just started out – and you’ll have the flu and maybe even diarrhea – along with major mood swings from the lack of carbs, but all of that should pass within the first week itself. You’ll also feel low on energy and you won’t be able to workout as rigorously. That’s probably going to go away after the first week or two. Everyone’s going to respond differently, of course. It took my body eight-ish days to adapt.

• What can I eat when I’m on Keto?

Literally pretty much all the chicken and egg you can eat. Broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms and spinach are all good for you. Broccoli has low carb content and it’s high in protein, plus it’s a super versatile vegetable. You can eat avocados. Cauliflower. Cheese. Bacon. Fish.

My super yum grilled chicken with cheese that I made the other day.

Switch this with that.

You can go with almond and coconut flour instead of the regular flour. Stevia instead of regular sugar. Use ghee or butter to fry whatever you need to fry. Bulletproof coffee instead of regular coffee. Almond or soy milk instead of regular milk. But remember, no fruits, and no bread and no pizza and no nothing. No orange juice. No smoothies unless it’s a veggie one made out of broccoli and spinach and lettuce. Most importantly, no booze.

Here’s a google-sourced image of what your Keto diet should consist of.

• Can I follow this diet if I’m a vegetarian?

Oh yes. Eat all the tofu you need. But you’ve to be mindful, since soy messes with your thyroid issues. Apart from the obvious cauliflower (which in my opinion, you need to eat in moderation because thyroid issues and cruciferous veggies don’t mix), there are other veggies you can eat. Like zucchini, Swiss chard, mushrooms, asparagus, celery, spinach, bok choy, broccoli rabe, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and lettuces (arugula, green and red leaf, endive, romaine, etc.)

Most importantly, weigh your portions.

• How effective is Keto?

The first week that I tried it, I noticed a significant drop in weight. It was probably just my water weight, but after three weeks of clean Keto – I noticed a good chunk of fat gone from the love handle area. So yes, it works. If you’re doing dirty Keto, like only eating the animal protein, you won’t notice the changes immediately because your body needs plant protein too (hello, fiber and vitamins).

• What supplements can I take?

If you’ve been prescribed supplements by your doctor, you can continue those, no problem. I take fish oil and something Indians call Triphala and they’re super useful, at least to me. Omega 3 fatty acids are something your body won’t be producing on its own stock of the essential fatty acids we know as LA (linoleic fatty acid or Omega 3) and ALA (alpha-linolenic fatty acid or Omega 6). But that’s a topic for another day.

In conclusion, do your research and spend a good chunk of time finding out what works for you. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon, like I said, because a lot of people are doing it. It’s not going to help.

Have an egg-cellent Hump Day while I go polish off my broccoli smoothie.