The social media star walking 280km along State Highway 35 to raise money for the cyclone relief has raised nearly $50,000.
Te Aorere Pēwhairangi, who has nearly 180k social media followers, started walking from Gisborne to Hicks Bay on Monday.
Speaking to Breakfast this morning, he said his legs and feet are sore, but his wairua is “really good”.
Pēwhairangi has been stopping to share stories with people along the way and he said the biggest message he’s received from people is that they don’t feel seen.
“There’s been heaps of stories of you know, a metre of silt covering the road and two metres of water above that, there’s huge slips.”
He said there are still a lot of isolated communities with long roads ahead of them.
“The people who walk with me, they tell me their stories and yeah the main message is that they’re feeling forgotten.”
Pēwhairangi initially planned to walk for 10 days, but thinks he is likely to finish tomorrow.
“I’m glad I’m almost there.”
“I guess my main message is, or what I want people to know is, just remember that we’re here, we’re still here and these are the most vulnerable communities in the country and with these extreme weather events happening more and more, they’re hit hard and it takes a lot for them to recover.”
“I want people to remember Tairāwhiti is still here, the people are still here, and they are resilient.”
A “chronically single” influencer has turned heads by joking she’s “too hot” to date, with men “scared” by her looks.
Hope Schwing, 24, has never had a serious relationship and has little dating experience.
The influencer from Los Angeles, California, shared her struggles on TikTok and made a satire post about it.
READ MORE: ‘I’m an ex-stripper – you should always say no to your man going to strip clubs’
In a clip that’s since gone viral, she sat in her living room with over-lay text that read: “No one talks about how hard it is to be literally so hot that you can’t get a boyfriend because all men are extremely intimidated by and scared of you.
“Being incredibly hot is honestly a curse.”
Hope clarified the clip was purely satirical, but it still resonated with some of her fans.
“The way you said this was satire but it’s not… like I literally feel like this is true for me,” one wrote and another added: “I’m gonna believe this is true about myself because any other explanation will be my last straw.”
Despite her struggles, Hope says she’s “fine being single”.
“I’ve personally been told and heard women give reasons that they’re single because ‘the guy wants to be the hot one’ or ‘I’m too hot, I’m intimidating him and scaring him away’ – just funny satirical stuff like that,” the 24-year-old explained.
“I thought it was pretty obvious in my video it was satire and me being existential and dramatic, but clearly that wasn’t delivered.
“The funny thing is, women commenting are saying ‘this isn’t satire, it’s relatable’ or ‘real’. Men on the other hand are basically flaming me, calling me ugly and almost seeming mad.”
The young woman is confident that when it’s time for her to date, she will be ready for it. But, knowing the busy lifestyle in Los Angeles, she doesn’t think it’s possible.
Hope added: “Everyone is busy or just not ready for commitment, which I totally understand.
“I’m a busy gal and I think when it’s time for me to date, it’ll come to me. I don’t think I’ll be the one chasing it.
“Being I’ve been independent my whole life, I’m used to being single.”
The other day, I loosened my grip on a guarded secret.
I’m a textile artist who’s been posting to Instagram for a decade, and somehow, I’ve convinced almost 50,000 people to follow along as I chronicle the adventures of making clothes for my fat body. I use the app to talk about my plus-size experience and occasionally show up in my underwear. I let it all hang out, and am proud to do so as a fierce advocate for body diversity and acceptance.
I was testing a pattern for an indie designer, a frock inspired by vintage nightgowns with Western details. Thrilled to have been selected as a tester for such a fun dress, I quickly chose a brightly striped fabric and zipped it through my sewing machine. The collar construction was finicky, more complicated than anything I’d done, and when I finished, I was proud of what I’d made. I dragged my tripod across the crusty ice in my backyard and posed for Instagram with my paint-chipped shed as backdrop. The dress was flowy and felt good.
But when I went to edit the photos, dread sank heavy and hot in my gut. The pattern featured a full skirt, rounded yoke, and a high, ruffled neck gathered with elastic that pushed up toward my jaw. The neckline was the issue. It threatened to reveal my biggest secret: I have a double chin.
I’ve carefully concealed its existence for years. When I pose for social media posts, I hide it carefully under scarves, via camera angles, behind my hair. Even in the hottest summer months, I don a bandana, and I would never, ever, photograph myself from below. The irony of this is immense—I’m known for my body-positive content, yet I’ve never felt comfortable showing my full face.
It’s obvious why: Our society frowns upon double chins, relegating them as symbols of dejection and sloth, siphoning off their representation for villains and loafs. They’re quick lazy signifiers of negativity in media: miserable (Brendan Fraser in The Whale), hilarious (Monica on Friends), evil (Ursula from The Little Mermaid), or grotesque (Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal). A brisk Google search of the term brings up tips on how to get rid of the “dreaded” condition, nearby doctors who can freeze or burn it away, and photos of celebrities who maybe—shamefully—could be developing one as we speak.
My own shame can be charted to my grandmother. I revered her, loved tucking my toes under her warm, plump thighs, curling against her on a white loveseat as she snorted and giggled through What’s Up, Doc? She was stubborn, fierce, and headstrong, intimidating her pastor and alarming small children with her exuberant opinions and volume. During her life, she’d been cast as a fairy in the New York City Ballet’s Swan Lake, studied oboe at Juilliard, learned Italian in Perugia, lived in a nudist colony, graduated from Dartmouth, and was a prolific painter and poet. But instead of celebrating these achievements, what I remember her discussing most often was her hatred for the fat on her body. She’d flap at her neck with the back of her hand, making the loose skin undulate. “It’s disgusting!” she’d cry. I took that to mean there are parts of your body so unforgivable that they can eclipse your accomplishments and dreams.
After she died last year, I was tasked with wrangling photographs from our sprawling family and compiling them into a slideshow. I was honored to do it, to walk through her wild decades of cross-country shenanigans, the rearing of six children, and her passion for art. But after her 30s, the photos dwindled. I received a few candid shots from her later years with hastily typed caveats: Maybe don’t include this one, she would hate it. As my grandmother aged, she refused to pose, fearing the camera would reveal the part she detested most. For over 40 years, her image is elusive.
When my Instagram account began growing in traction, my body was smaller than it is today, though not by much, and mostly in my face. I was unhappy, experiencing workplace sexual harassment that made me withdraw from food and other people. I assumed that my followers liked this smaller version of myself, and was cautious as I gained weight, worried that revealing too much would scare people off.
But I’ve always been bigger-bodied, and within the last five years, it’s settled into something comfortable. Pregnancy, in particular, taught me to embrace weight gain as miraculous: My growing body could sustain another. I’ve arrived at a place in which I love my particular sack of flesh and bones: the way it rounds at my hips, the softness at my belly, the rise and fall at my chest. These are the attributes I highlight on Instagram, but I haven’t yet learned how to extend this adoration to my double chin.
This feels fraudulent, of course. I preach to my kindergartner how all bodies are different, how no single body can have inherent worth over another. I tell her that no one has control over their genetics, that we’re born with various features and sizes, and they’re all neutral. I believe this. My Instagram teems with shared posts on how to unlearn anti-fat bias, how fat discrimination is pervasive, and how body neutrality is liberation from the white-supremacist patriarchy. When I read Lindy West’s recommendation to combat internalized anti-fat bias by immersing oneself in photographs of fat bodies, I did exactly that. My Instagram feed brims with glorious plus-sized people, pocked with cellulite, punctuated by stomach folds.
Yet, so few of them have double chins. I still don’t see myself. I can preach body neutrality from sunrise to sunset, and yet here I am, carefully holding my phone so it covers my jawline for a mirror selfie.
Body acceptance continues to omit face acceptance, and I’ve bought into that exclusion. “There’s good reason we’re afraid of our double chins,” writes author and activist Virgie Tovar. “We live in a culture that is openly hateful toward fat people. Friends, family and social media reward us for appearing as close to the (thin) standard as possible in photographs.” Thus, I dread spring’s arrival, knowing I’ll have to start shedding the layers of scarves and balaclavas that hide my secret. As daffodils push from thawing soil, my neck returns, white and tender as a hellebore’s first leaves.
When I saw the photos of myself in the dress I’d pattern-tested, I was horrified to discover how the high, elasticized neckline pushed at the fat on my chin, accentuating my worst part. I considered wrapping my neck in a scarf, a trusty go-to. But a scarf would cover the star of the show, the complicated ruffles of the dress’s neck. I stood in the snow, zoomed in on my jawline, cursing myself for the lack of foresight. How could I have failed to recognize how unflattering this dress would be?
But then I caught myself, stumbling over the word “flattering.” I’m immersed deep enough in the hadal trenches of body neutrality to know better than to care about what’s flattering. Who does flattering serve? Not me.
My thumb still hovered over the delete button on my phone for longer than I’d like to admit, but in the end, I posted the photos. Not to the permanent record of the grid, but to my Instagram Stories and their promise to disappear after 24 hours. A baby step. I braced myself for trolls to flood my inbox, pointing out the obvious, but they never showed.
Someone replied to compliment the garment, though. They liked its fraught, frilly neckline. They called me an “influencer,” which made me laugh. “Can you believe it,” I asked my husband. “Me, an influencer?” He shrugged before pulling up the Merriam-Webster definition of influencer and reading it aloud: a person who inspires or guides the actions of others. “I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what you do,” he said.
I sat with this for a few days, chewing on it like gum that’s lost its flavor: not good, but not bad enough to spit out. I realized that if I am indeed an influencer and I’ve been hiding this part of myself, then I’m contributing to the problem. I’ve helped stigmatize double chins, and I can’t expect others to jump on board for acceptance if I’m not on the ship myself. If I can start normalizing my own double chin to both myself and my followers, maybe some of them will finally see themselves and do the same.
My complicated feelings toward my double chin will continue to vex me, but I don’t want my posthumous slideshow (or whatever A.I.-laden mess is happening by then) to have swaths of lost decades, of moments I chose not to capture because I happen to have genetics predisposing me to fatty tissue under my jawline. I’m aware that my skin will do what skin does as it ages, that the epidermis will thin and the elastin fibers will sag and stretch. My double chin will likely only expand, just as my grandmother’s did. But I never looked down on my grandmother’s chin the way she did. She was a regal woman dressed in bold colors and animal prints, heavy brass earrings dangling under silver-streaked black hair. I only ever saw her beauty.
We all have biases that need unlearning, but I can only start with myself, and I know what I need to do. I have a chin that needs some likes.
FRAUDULENT individuals have used a woman’s photos online to scam others through selling plants.
Malaysian plant influencer Jessy Christopher-Tham has warned other plant buyers of her identity being used by nefarious individuals, selling plants in many Facebook plant sale groups.
She was initially notified of the scammer impersonating her by another plant enthusiast from Australia.
“On Feb 2023, I was approached by a plant person from Australia. She wanted to let me know that a scammer stole my identity and photos to cheat others,” Jessy said in her Facebook video.
Jessy shared some screenshots of the transactions made between the imposter accounts and their victims. The account was under Jessy’s name and used her photos to further convince unwitting victims of their legitimacy.
Once the buyers have been won over by whatever deal ‘Jessy’ offered them, the money is transferred to the scammer’s account.
The victim who approached Jessy was unfortunately one of many victims who fell for their scheme.
“Unfortunately, she was one of the victims. A few in the same group have been duped too. She was told to approach me,” Jessy explained in her video.
She then reminded others watching her video to be mindful of any online financial transactions and cautioned not to fall for offers that are ‘too good to be true’.
“Don’t fall for the cheap bargains. That is always the first step done by the scammers to lure any potential buyers,” Jessy added.
Prior to this, Jessy was impersonated by an Indonesian woman who hacked someone else’s account on social media in 2017, scamming people globally, according to an interview with SAYS.
She only got to know about the incident in 2020 when two other plant sellers from India and Indonesia and then a buyer from the Philippines told Jessy that the woman scammed her.
The man charged with the murder of 35-year-old social media influencer, Aneka Townsend, otherwise called ‘Kayan’ or ‘Slickianna’, was remanded in custody when he appeared in the St James Circuit Court on Thursday.
The accused, 33- year-old Rushawn Patterson, otherwise called ‘Chizzie’, of Harvey River in Hanover, is scheduled to return to court on Thursday, March 21.
Townsend’s body was removed by the Marine Police from the sea in the Reading area of St James on October 21, 2022.
A post-mortem examination on her body, conducted on November 5, concluded that her death was caused by strangulation.
The police said in a release that the post-mortem estimated that Townsend was killed sometime between 11pm on October 20 and 9am on October 21.
According to the police, on October 20, Townsend travelled from Kingston to Montego Bay, St James, where she was picked up by Patterson at approximately 7:30 pm.
During the course of the evening, they visited a restaurant in Hanover and a guesthouse in St James, the police said.
At some point during in the night, an argument reportedly developed between them, which resulted in Patterson allegedly strangling Townsend and disposing of her body.
The run-up to the presidential election saw a significant increase in the number of pro-Marcos pages, content creators, and posts in various social media platforms – indicating the financial gains to be had in a plainly self-sustaining business model: Marcos partisans consume pro-Marcos content, which financially rewards social media vloggers covering those topics, which pushes such influencers to try to expand their social media reach.
Their posts are a combination of historical distortion, the spread of disinformation narratives, and whitewashing of the dictatorship from 1972 to 1986. These posts targeted people’s emotions and were designed to solicit strong reactions that would further drive engagements.
More novel, however, is the “celebrification” of the Marcoses on social media. Vlogs continuously feed to the public the family’s personal stories, daily lives and “unfiltered” personalities – an approach that is not disinformation per se, and therefore evades fact-checking initiatives.
The Marcoses’ venture into “lifestyle” vlogging is aided by their now unmitigated access to high profile politicians, foreign heads of state, and international events which undoubtedly make for fascinating “original content” as claimed by influencers.
The Marcos family’s social media strategy has gone beyond disinformation and ventured into influence operations. Efforts to counter these posts have had little effect, which suggests that the social media landscape itself has changed and that the emphasis of the opposition on “fake news” is becoming akin to fighting yesterday’s war.
Marcos Jr won the election with more than 31 million votes. Months after the most divisive elections to date, trending initiatives on social media continued to reflect the polarisation that was present during the campaign, as seen in the calls to boycott brands and personalities associated with the Marcoses.
SPRINGFIELD – Parents who make money posting videos of their children on social media channels may soon be legally required to share that revenue with their kids.
The Illinois Senate Labor Committee this week unanimously approved a bill that would guarantee children a right to a percentage of that revenue if the videos meet certain criteria.
“Parents should not be able to profit from the work of their children,” state Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, a cosponsor of the bill, said during a Wednesday news conference. “It’s no different than kid television stars having protections. We must ensure that kids are accurately compensated for their work.”
Bill sponsor state Sen. David Koehler, D-Peoria, compared it to California’s 1938 “Coogan Law” – named after the child silent film star Jackie Coogan – that first protected the income of child actors in Hollywood.
But Koehler said no such law exists to protect children whose parents make them the subject of social media videos, and if the bill passes, Illinois would become the first state to do so.
“I didn’t realize how big of an issue this is. This is a huge issue,” he said. “And we’re getting national attention on this.”
The act of parents sharing photos or videos of their children on platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram is not new. But some parents have turned it into a cottage industry by launching a video blog, or vlog, that generates revenue through advertising, product placements and subscription fees.
People who engage in that business are sometimes referred to as “influencers.” That comes from the business practice of endorsing specific products or services in an attempt to influence others to purchase them.
Koehler and Holmes said they got the idea from a 15-year-old student, Shreya Nallamothu, of Normal, who said she began looking into it as part of an independent studies project at her high school.
“When you’re scrolling online, do you ever see videos of children or families vlogging every aspect of their life?” She asked. “Most of the time when kids are featured on the internet, it’s often wholesome content with no ill intentions. But unfortunately, with the rise of social media, we’re starting to see the rise of something called child influencers, and child influencers are essentially kids who are forced to be featured in videos by their parents to rake in more views and more money.”
Senate Bill 1782 would put children who are featured in vlogs under the protection of the Illinois Child Labor Law.
It provides that if a child under age 16 is depicted in 30 percent or more of a vlogger’s content within a 30-day period and the videos generate compensation, then the child is entitled to a proportionate share of that revenue. In other words, if the child is depicted or discussed in 30 percent of the content, then the child would be entitled to 30 percent of the revenue.
If more than one child is depicted and they all meet the threshold for being compensated, they would split their share of the revenue evenly.
That money would have to be set aside in a trust fund that the child or children can access when they turn 18.
In addition, once the child turns 18, he or she can request the online platform to remove any content in which they are depicted.
“Because a lot of kids are, quite frankly, videoed and it’s really funny,” Koehler said. “But when they’re, you know, 20 years old they may not think it’s so funny.”
Although the bill passed out of the Labor Committee, Koehler said he plans to bring an amendment to clarify aspects of the bill before it’s considered by the full Senate.
Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide, as well as hundreds of radio and TV stations. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
TikTok is a force when it comes to searching for viral products. Social media influencers have shown they have the power to impact consumers purchasing decisions. But there is a new trend that some influencers doing exactly the opposite.
More than half of people who are on TikTok — 52% — use it to get information about products, according to GWI, a marketing research company. One digital research firm projects that 33 million U.S. users will make a purchase on TikTok this year. This does not count the millions of purchases made in stores that are driven by influencers.
“It’s amazing how an individual can go from not even knowing a product exists to being aware of it, to then clicking on it through a link and making a purchase within minutes,” said David Gerzof Richard, CEO of Big Fish PR. “There’s a reason they’re called influencers. They’re highly influential and they can change and focus consumer behavior.”
The new trend of deinfluencing, which popped up a few months ago, has people using their platforms to tell people what not to buy.
Social media app TikTok says people under 18 will have usage time limits of one hour per day, but opponents of the platform say the measure does not go far enough.
The hashtag #deinfluencing has racked up more than 250 million views on TikTok. Content creators are now urging consumers to think twice about what they’re buying, and who they can trust.
Richard believes it was driven by the cost of living and the impacts of inflation: “A deinfluencer is in fact an influencer who is being transparent about the products they are reviewing on their social media channels to their audiences.”
Paige Pritchards is a spending coach who doles out financial advice on TikTok.
“It’s just kind of telling people … if your life doesn’t look like this, you’re actually the majority, not the minority. Most influencers get a lot of the stuff that they are showing to you for free,” she said.
Pritchards helps women overcome social media pressure to impulse shop and overspend. She’s all for deinfluencing, but says social media users need to be skeptical.
“A lot of influencers are really, like, hopping on the trends and not so much because they have your best interests at heart, but honestly, just because they want the pick and the views and follows,” Pritchards said.
Andrew Smith, an associate professor of marketing at Suffolk University, said the deinfluencing trend may make social media influencers seem more genuine.
“If you are exclusively providing a one-sided argument, if everything you talk about is something that is promotional, that doesn’t come across as being credible,” Smith said.
Now that we have an understanding of what the metaverse is, who are some of the creators standing out in the digital fashion space?
LX News storyteller Ngozi Ekeledo spoke with one of web3’s first digital fashion influencers about what the future of fashion will look like and the dollar signs attached to the emerging tech.
But beware, the experts said — deinfluencers can still monetize their messages and manipulate you.
“They’re building credibility for themselves by saying, ‘Don’t buy this, buy this instead.’ The ‘this instead’ is still they, as an influencer, telling you what to buy,” Richard said.
Some advice for consumers: slow down and make sure you’re well informed about a product before making any purchase.
Smith said it’s worthwhile to be “looking at online reviews, looking at social media sites, looking at paid providers of reviews like Consumer Reports, like Wirecutter, especially for large purchases.”
If you ever stumble across a video promoting certain products on TikTok, look at the description box. TikTok requires any sponsored content to have an ad disclaimer in the video. And if you are ever directed to a link in a video to buy a product, that content creator is most likely getting some kind of kick back.
YouTuber and streamer Ludwig Ahgren posted a “cry for help” video about his 1997 Subaru Sambar being stolen last week.
Fans quickly got to work trying to piece together clues. One Reddit user ended up rescuing the vehicle.
The user told Insider he’s a longtime fan of Ahgren and felt lucky to have found the car.
Catastrophe struck the world of popular streamer Ludwig Ahgren after his prized possession, a 1997 Subaru Sambar, was stolen during the heavy California rain storms last month.
Lucky for Ahgren, his fans lunged at the opportunity to help. Within a day of sounding the alarm, a Redditor and longtime fan found the mini-truck in the parking lot of a massage parlor in Los Angeles, and even returned it to the influencer.
The fan, 19-year-old Christian Mejia who goes by the Reddit handle u/suufferPNG, told Insider the experience was thrilling and somewhat scary when he came face-to-face with the alleged thief. He said Ahgren is rewarding him with merchandise and a special bidet (yes, the influencer owns a line of branded bidets) for his troubles.
Here’s what happened to Ahgren — and how his fans helped saved the day.
After his car went missing, Ahgren shared a ‘cry for help’ video
Ahgren, who has over 4 million YouTube subscribers, posted a “cry for help” video about the missing vehicle on February 28. In the video, which has been viewed over 1.6 million times, he said his 1997 Subaru Sambar was imported from Japan and had been his dream car.
He said that due to the recent torrent of rain in California, the power went out at the warehouse where the car was being stored. After they opened a gate to let one of their crew members leave the warehouse, they couldn’t close the gate again.
“The gate stayed open, and through this rain storm, a thief in the night came to our warehouse, went into my car, somehow jacked it … and disappeared from the crime scene,” he claimed.
“If you happen to be in LA and you see this 1997 Subaru Sambar, you let me know,” he urged viewers.
Ahgren’s post quickly went viral, and fans on Reddit started working together to help locate the car. One user seemed to have narrowed the search by posting a video of what looked like the influencer’s car in Sylmar, a neighborhood in the north side of Los Angeles. In a follow-up video, Ahgren said his assistant Nick Yingling went to the scene, but the car had already been moved.
Later that day, Yingling returned to the location, this time with Anthony “Slime” Bruno, a member of their group podcast “The Yard.” While they found the car, they also discovered a person in it, Ahgren said in the follow-up video. Bruno shared a video of the confrontation online, showing them pressuring the man in the car to return it, but the person fled with the Subaru.
The next day, on March 1, Mejia spotted the car in front of a massage parlor and shared his discovery in a Reddit post, which happened to be down the street from where he lived.
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The fan was vigilently ‘on the lookout’ for the car and his efforts paid off
“I decided that I’d be on the lookout,” he told Insider in a DM on Reddit. “Since there’s also an auto body shop nearby [I thought] maybe they could have taken it there to strip it.”
He said he saw the vehicle directly across the street from where it had last been seen.
The fan said he encountered a man loading bags into the mini-truck and struck up a conversation, but he did not mention Ahgren or press him on whether it was his vehicle.
According to Mejia, the man told him that he wasn’t a thief and had possession of the car because he’d struck a deal with someone who owed him money, and who presumably had possession of the car before him. Mejia then decided to involve law enforcement.
“I didn’t feel safe being so close to him so I just went into the donut shop in the plaza where I’m safe inside but can still see the truck,” he recalled. “I called the police from in there.”
Mejia stayed close to the scene as the police arrived, he said. He claimed police did not detain the man because there was no evidence he’d been inside the truck. Insider has reached out to the Los Angeles Police Department.
“The overall experience was exciting to find but was scary when encountering the man who allegedly stole it,” Mejia said. “In the end, I felt overall lucky that I found it.”
The teen told Insider Yingling came to retrieve the car with a tow truck.
When Ahgren was finally reunited with his car, he posted a video thanking the “community effort of ludbuds,” a nickname for his fans, along with his friends and teammates who helped out, like Yingling and Bruno. He shared Mejia’s story and credited him with saving his beloved vehicle.
“Casual day in the life of Suffer, man,” Ahgren said with a joke in reference to Mejia’s Reddit name. “What a GOAT.”