However, despite these advantages and the real value that influential women can offer to the brands that work with them, on average they are still paid 7% less per publication than men, except in the travel subindustry. Like me, influential women are unlikely to underestimate their value; they see the results of their work filling their information page day by day. The influencer, apparently, effortlessly achieves this complicated balance between the roles of testimonial for important brands, loving wife and mother, in fact, proposing to users a rather idealized model of a woman far removed from reality, a model in which entrepreneurship as women's empowerment, individualized feminism and own branding seem to coincide (Marwick, 201). Some of the influencers make a living with their social media skills, others consider it a side job and a passion.
For influential people, this could mean being willing to spend more time on the parts of the work they like creating content than to negotiate a higher fee per publication. Today, there are nearly 250,000 digital influencers from all over the world (with a combined reach of more than 500 million followers) making money with their passions on the IndaHash platform for Fortune 500 brands, such as Coca Cola, L'Oreal and Google. They live on social media, watch tons of videos online instead of watching television, follow real people instead of media and brands: this is what influencers' media consumption looks like. From this perspective, the first part of the article will focus on the elements that characterize, in today's society, the media representation of female identity, while the second section will analyze the figure of influential women, in order to highlight the characteristics of the relationships they are capable of building online and offline with their female audience.
From this perspective, analyzing the role played by influential women on social networks can allow us to better understand what models of action inspire women today and define their collective imagination. Some will argue that the gender wage gap in the influencer world is due to market saturation: there are many more women than men working as influential people, making men harder to find and therefore more valuable. The family photos that the influencer regularly posts on social networks also play an important role in this marketing strategy, since they are functional to strengthen the figure of Ferragni as a multifaceted woman, capable of moving on several levels. Influencers who truly enjoy what they do and feel mentally and economically enriched with what they create will attract their followers much more genuinely.
Lately, I've seen several men blame influential women for problems in their relationships, accusing them of taking advantage of sexual attractiveness to get likes, and arguing that these women offer little more than a pair of buttocks for the thirsty masses. However, the image of these influential young women who transmit on social networks refers to a strong subjectivity, to female figures who demand the right to exploit their own agency capacity, albeit in an individualized dimension, and stand as role models for millions of followers. Male influencers may resent the increased number of “likes” and of being shared by their female counterparts, accusing them of exploiting their sexual attractiveness rather than creating valuable content, but influential women don't promote themselves or their stories to men.
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