The popularity of YouTube video publishers and Instagram sharers known as “cleanfluencers” has become a phenomenon. They are now receiving considerable attention not only from followers but from sociology experts, advertisers and critics as well.
After Marie Kondo, the past year has seen several housewives who rose to social media fame because they are simply posting videos and photos of their cleaning skills. Apparently, many in the present day society have taken a keen interest on what these women share about something as ordinary as house cleaning..
What makes housewives like Sophie Hinchcliffe, a.k.a. “Mrs Hinch” with 2 million plus followers, Gemma Bray a.k.a “The Organised Mum” with 143k followers and Lynsey Crombie a.k.a. “Queen of Clean” with 114k followers, tick? What is it about their cleaning activities that make them the latest breed of social media icons known as “cleanfluencers?”
Sophie or “Mrs. Hinch” said she took to posting and sharing videos out of her cleaning obsessions and desire to think of something else other than her anxiety issues. The same is true for Gemma the “Organized Mum,” who looks to house cleaning as her only control domain. Lynsey the “Queen of Clean” has a different story to tell. She just wants to share something down-to-earth and more realistic, sensing that not everyone can relate to the picture perfect images being shared via Instagram. .
What the Experts Say about Cleanfluencers and Their Growing Popularity with Social Media Netizens
Dr Stephanie Alice Baker, a senior lecturer at the Department of Sociology of the University of London, says
The rise of cleaning influencers on social media is fundamentally about focusing on order during uncertain times.
Dr. Baker attributes the increasing fascination over cleanfluencers in the UK and U.S. to the uncertainties created by Brexit and Donald Trump. She explained that preoccupation with self-management, self-improvement and order, tends to flourish during times of apprehension. According to Dr. Baker, the desire for order goes beyond wanting to have a clean home. It is also about creating a structured environment in which to thrive when the whole world appears to be in disarray.
Kate Joynes-Burgess who works as managing director of a Public Relations agency that deals with influencers, opines that the public has gotten tired of seeing images of attractive people posing in fabulous outfits on beaches and socializing with equally photogenic friends, Ms. Burgess says
The world of mega lifestyle influencers has been criticised as being on the verge of an “authenticity crisis” with possibilities of reaching a saturation point… whilst making way for the burgeoning of niched-focus conversations and influencers.”
Sincerity of Goals in Sharing Cleaning Tips and Techniques as an Important Factor
In light of “Mrs. Hinch’s” status as the leading celebrity cleanfluencer, manufacturers of cleaning products and implements are now offering her lucrative deals for promoting their brands. Will her followers feel the same in knowing that her cleanfluencing videos will also influence them into buying products they do not usually buy?
Actually, Mrs. Hinch has also attracted critics. Some even went as far as filing complaints with the UK’s advertising watchdog, citing violations of advertising protocols.
If the audience will feel their favorite cleanfluencer is only sweet-talking them into buying some high end cleaning product, they will likely just go back to researching on their own in order to make unbiased decisions; rather than let someone influence them. If ever they take an interest in buying a popular cleaning equipment like a Roomba vacuum cleaner, they might as well look into web pages that give useful information through “Comparison of Best Roombas.”