Millennials have Zoella – but who’s inspiring 30-something women?

I’m honestly not sure I can manage any more. I’ve survived a morning watching vlogger YouTube videos and, if forced to sit through another, I think I might suffocate myself face down in one of their featured cupcakes.

With their fishtail-plait how-to videos, and pug-accessorised Instagram posts, the Zoellas and Tanya Burrs of this world are dictating how a whole generation of British teenagers live.

Professionally, I’m happy to explain why this bedroom-based influencer revolution is so important to brands right now (it is, there’s a much longer, more insightful report I can send you). Personally, however, I’m in my (mid)-thirties and don’t want to watch anyone unpack their latest Asos delivery, no matter how fantastic their contouring might be.

I’m not the only one. In an entirely unscientific survey I conducted via my Facebook friends – who are by and large in their thirties – I could find only one person who admitted watching Zoella online. However, I could also only find one who was still buying things recommended in magazines.

Hero worship: Millenials buy products recommended by Tanya Burr to imitate the YouTube star

Hero worship: Millenials buy products recommended by Tanya Burr to imitate the YouTube star

But we are still being influenced. The lack of room in my wardrobe is testament to that. But by who?

For an age group I’m dubbing pre-Millennials, the list of influencers aren’t a million miles away in terms of themes from the generation behind. Fashion and beauty are still important, although interiors, fitness and food content makes a bigger impact than it does for the young ‘uns.

The platform isn’t that different either. Thirty-somethings are less YouTube-led, but certainly not less web-led. Instagram in particular is proving a huge source of (insta)-inspo, closely followed by blogs, Pinterest and magazine-style websites. Credible journalists still play an important part, but today that’s largely down to the journo themselves rather than the newspaper or magazine they write for.

What really differs is the absence of hero worship.

Women in this age group are seeking out opinions and lifestyles they genuinely value, rather than zeroing in on one person and blindly following them to Superdrug.

The 14-year-olds want everything Tanya Burr recommends, because it’s Tanya Burr.  The 34-year-olds, meanwhile, want the beauty products Sali Hughes (a personal favourite) recommends because she has consistently proved she really knows what works.

Deliciously Ella is a case in point. While I have long since un-followed her quinoa-soaked, impossibly perfect Instagram feed -it made me want to stick wheat-free bread sticks in both eyes – I’m still merrily making recipes from her book and app, because they’re healthy and even a kitchen dunce like me can manage them.*

So, who makes the grade? Click here for my list of eight women really inspiring pre-millennials.

* Disclosure. I’ve only actually made four of her recipes. While they’re easy, calling in at Whole Foods on the way home is even easier. But next time I have a day off, I’m definitely going to try recipe number 5. Definitely.


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