Madam Ambassador

Allie Rothman, Staff Writer

“Hi gorgeous! We had a glimpse of your page and thought you were just stunning and would make a perfect fit as a model for our brand!” An Instagram clothing brand account, BabeEssentials, direct messages “We’d love to get you started as soon as possible by sending over our items to you! You take care of shipping, and we’ll take care of the rest!” What a business tactic.

The “DoSomething” mental health campaign says 91% of teenage girls have admitted to being unhappy with their bodies, and as outrageous as the number is, it doesn’t sound unrealistic. With a rise in the amount of “models” advertised across social media platforms; selling weight loss remedies, teeth whitening, eyelash serums and other beautification products, it’s no surprise teenage girls are so ridiculously self-conscious. These women, posing in front of professional cameras with these seemingly perfect features are telling social-media users that they could look better, that they should look better.

The most overwhelming technique, however, is the motive for companies to reach out to teenagers personally, asking them to be an “ambassador” for their brand.  It involves buying one or more of their products, taking some sort of photo with it, and sending it back to the brand for them to “feature” on their page. It seems harmless.

This had happened to me once. It was some clothing brand that I’ve never heard of. When they direct messaged me, the immediate feeling was flattery, “Wow, they want me? Really? I must really be special or something!” Then, I followed directions, visiting the website looking for some product to purchase. The prices were insane. I thought, “Who would pay $40 for a pair of sunglasses?”. Someone who wants the validation that was offered to them. At first, I wanted that validation. It was hard to resist, I had envisioned myself featured on the brand’s instagram page; perfect lighting, a wide smile, and thousands of likes, just for wearing some clothes. But, then I thought “what would that accomplish for me? Some followers? Some praise? I don’t need that, teenage girls don’t need that. We’re worth more than the likes of a picture in $40 sunglasses.

It’s a cruel approach, using  the low confidence of young women as leverage. But, to Brands like these, it’s strictly business. Feeding off of the low self esteem of teenage girls, somewhat brainwashing them with flattery and praise for their physical appearance, and encouraging the purchase of their products is the strongest way to build a business platform.



Zaharaswimgirls, an alleged female swimwear company, attempts to recruit a WJ student to their “team” via Instagram comment.