‘I have been a healthy living influencer on Instagram since high school.’ Picture: iStock
‘I have been a healthy living influencer on Instagram since high school.’ Picture: iStock

22yo ‘influencer’ making $34k a month

A 22-year-old Instagram influencer and "e-commerce entrepreneur" who claims to earn $US25,000 a month has been slammed for a bizarrely tone-deaf article bragging about her lifestyle.

Writing for Refinery29 's Money Diaries series, the anonymous New York woman said she earns between $US300,000 and $US360,000 a year selling Chinese-made handbags online but tries to put around $US20,000 a month into savings "so I never feel too flush and accidentally buy a Chanel bag".

The piece originally said $US50,000 a month and $US600,000 a year, but was edited "to more accurately reflect the OP's take-home pay".

Readers complained that she offered very little information about how she supposedly earns so much money, and instead spent most of the article bragging about her comically perfect millennial existence as a "healthy living influencer since high school".

"It is a beautiful Sunday outside, so my boyfriend, R., and I decide to picnic," day one of the in-depth seven-day account begins.

 

"A guy is trying to convince dog-walkers to try his weird coffee yoghurt drink. R. doesn't let me try the drink because he says they're not FDA-approved. I write down the coffee yoghurt brand on my list of new businesses. I like to keep a running list of new businesses that I see on social media, TV, subway ads, etc., and study their business models."

She describes how her biggest purchase of the week, a $US707 "preloved designer tote bag", was an "absolute steal" from its retail price of $US1900. She also pays $US95 to book a "dolphin excursion" on an upcoming cruise.

Bizarrely enough, on day two she describes spending $US7.53 for an Uber to and from the store to buy $US12 worth of candy, but on day five a $US6 fare home is too much. "I ain't a baller, so I take the subway home," she writes.

By the end of the week her total spend comes to $US1732.15, mainly on clothes, beauty and food - including a pizza she gave to her roommates after she had "forgotten I ordered it".

The diary sparked a massive backlash from readers this week, with some questioning whether it was satire.

"This seemed like one of those 'I read a bot over 1000 hours of Money Diaries and asked it to write its own' and this is the result," one reader said.

"Not throwing shade but read the room R29, it's 2018 + the 1 per cent's moment is over," one user wrote on Twitter.

"I wanted to stab my eyes with my $1.50 ballpoint pen when reading this," another said.

Another added, "Does Refinery29 ever do a Money Diary on someone in their mid 30s making a little over $26,000 a year before taxes, working two jobs, with almost $50,000 in school loans and no bachelor's degree? Cuz I volunteer. The diary would be nice and short."

Many called BS on the piece itself, saying things didn't add up.

"A 'healthy living influencer' but didn't work out once and ate mostly garbage?" one reader noted.

Her business raised eyebrows as well. On day six, she wakes up and decides "today is the day I will hire a customer service agent" as she's sick of "fielding upwards of 30 emails a day".

"I post a job on Upwork," she writes. "I find one guy I like and spend the day onboarding him. He installs some new software for me and my inbox and ticketing system are instantly more organised. Hooray for having someone else put out fires!"

One reader commented, "You're not making $50,000 a month and only handling 30 emails a day. I get 30 emails in an hour."

Another asked, "Who decides to add an employee, finds a candidate, interviews, hires, and puts them to work all same day? Are we supposed to believe this? And if that's how she manages business decisions then I have major side-eye at her claim to bring in several hundred thousand a year."

Many questioned whether her business was possible in the way she described.

"As someone in supply chain, there's no way this woman's business is real," one reader wrote. "She's talking about planning inventory for the holiday season, a week before Thanksgiving. The company I work for, we've been planning holiday inventory since April since it all has to be imported."

Another called out the conspicuous brand-name dropping.

"Me thinks this was a made-up diary paid for by Zaful Bikinis, Clorox Wipes, Amazon, Trader Joe's, all the brands in Sephora, Coke, Coco the movie, Sour Patch Watermelons, UPS, dolphin excursions, Mango, McDonald's, Amazon again, Tupperware and Chanel," they said.

Many agreed on the "biggest red flag", however. "Never ever have I ever ordered a pizza and FORGOTTEN I ORDERED IT."


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