• Elsa Moreira Da Veiga

Qiao Biluo and Johanna Olson types, or why it's better not to go too far with Photoshop

We've all already used a filter or light angles to hide come of our physical flaws on social media, and there's nothing much wrong with that. However, some influencers have decided to take those life hacks to a whole new level, and build their whole career on it. And some of them ended up learning the hard way that it's not always a good idea.

Let's take the recent case of Qiao Biluo. This 58-year-old Chinese Influencer had managed to gain 100, 000 subscribers on DouYu, the Chinese equivalent of Twitch. She made her fans call her "Your Highness", and received donations going up to more than 5, 000$. The only problem is, she was using an AI to make herself look like a woman in her 20's, and she got caught. Indeed, she was streaming on July 25th, when the filter stopped working, thus showing Qiao's true appearance to her followers. Some fans (mostly men) immediately unfollowed her, disgusted by the lie.

Qiao Biluo's true face (left) and the one she was showing to her followers (right)

Qiao became a laughing stock on all chinese social media's, but in a weird plot twist, she gained more than 650, 000 followers from the fiasco. According to Vice, she accepted sponsorhips with beauty filter companies and is even planning to release an album (apparently her followers think she has a beautiful voice). Probably very satified with the outcome of the situation that first looked like the end of her career, Qiao proclamed that everything was planned from the start in a scheme to reach fame. Sure, Qiao, sure...

We can all laugh at this little oriental blunder with a happy end, but let's not forget what's happening on this side of the earth. The older generation got bamboozled by McDonald's ads showing burgers that would've made Gordon Ramsay say something nice (whatever, just something), only for people to buy a hodgepodge of barely eadible GMOs, but with our generation, the bamboozling is more subtle. Today's influencers photoshop their bodies to sell "Skinny Tea", or put filters on their faces to sell makeup.

However (finally), some social media users and even some celebrities (like Jameela Jamil) are standing up to this. That's how Johanna Olson lost all her credibility when she photoshopped herself in the streets of Paris, and that's how Danielle Cohn got in troubles with her fans (and very possibly the law) by pretending she was 15 when in reality she just turned 13 (and her boyfriend is 18).

Fake it 'till you make it: Johanna Olson in a fake Paris

Yes, I hear you saying "But Elsa, what does that have to do with social media management ?"

Well, if you're a decent social media manager, you'll sometimes interact with an influencer for a campaign. You will have to choose that influencer carefully, because if they are associated with you when they fall into a controversy, you're going to catch some stray bullets. And don't you think that bad publicity is better than no publicity, because most of the time it's not (Sugar Bear and Morphe know this all too well). There is also the questions of who exactly you'll be selling to through that influencer and how, but that's for another article.

Anyway, if you liked that article, please give your opinion in the comment section, subscribe to the Moreira Freelancing Facebook Page, and stop using beauty filters, because you're very beautiful just the way you are !

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