TBraga, 19 april 2022
Dinner of the experts
At the table, on my left, a young woman aged 24. On the right, another 22 years old. Both graduated, intelligent and good professionals.
When we sat down they were talking about a certain Helena, who seemed to be a mutual friend. They were anxiously clutching their mobile phones trying to access a web page.
"Did you get it?"
"Not yet, the website is still down."
Their distress was such that I tried to find out what was going on. They explained to me that Helena Coelho (an influencer with almost 700,000 followers, who I had never heard of) had launched a new swimwear collection that day (Drope brand) and the searches were so many that the network had been down for several hours.
I then got interested to know what was so special about the said influencer and the said swimsuits, for a network to go down.
"The swimsuits are nothing special, but when Helena Coelho releases something, everyone of our generation goes to see it".
I then asked who Helena Coelho was and what she does.
"She's a professional make-up artist who has lifestyle, fashion and beauty networks. She started by giving make-up tips, but today she already covers other topics."
As neither of them do make-up I was even more intrigued. Then they started telling me about two other "equally important" influencers, who I didn't know either - Barbara Corby and Mafalda Sampaio (Maria Vaidosa was familiar to me). They all have lifestyle, fashion and beauty social networks and are followed by hundreds of thousands of young people, between 16 and 35 years old.
This generation lives several second lives with a touch of big brother. They follow the daily lives of the influencers they follow, knowing in detail where they are, where they travel, what they eat, what sports they do and what products they consume. Their recommendations are orders. If any of these influencers recommends or launches a product it is almost certain that this product will sell out. There is no advertising that beats this type of advice.
Timidly, I asked if they usually read newspapers: the oldest didn't answer, but the youngest told me firmly that she read the online newspapers that the family subscribed to. Never on paper.
I went back to understand why they followed Helena Coelho, bearing in mind that they don't paint themselves, nor are they very obsessed with fashion. The older one looked at me with some lack of patience and ended the conversation "Rosário will never understand".
I thought to myself: "Luckily these two and others of the same age work with me and make up for my lack of understanding.
Maria do Rosário Louro