Can you remember what it was like to be nine? If I recall correctly my days were filled with watching CBBC whilst trying to dodge doing my homework. What about you? Were you an influencer who was signed to several modelling agencies as well as collaborating with loads of major companies? Nope?
Don’t worry me neither. I was too busy catching up with Tracy Beaker and learning my spellings.
But whilst most of us can’t even say we are successful influencers as an adult, let alone at the age of 9, this is not the case for the Clements Twins, who have soared to stardom over the last couple of years. As the Interviewer on SweetyHigh said when talking to the twins ‘You haven’t even hit the double digits and you’re killing the game.’
It all started when Leah Rose and Ava Marie’s mother, Jaqi, set up an Instagram account for them on their 7th Birthday. Jaqi is the perfect example of the saying, ‘if at first you don’t succeed try again’ (I love a good cheesy quote). She originally attempted to launch a modelling career for the twins when they were just 6 months old, but then decided it wasn’t the best time as she had the twins as well as a young son to raise.
However, it appears that 7 years later, was exactly the right time, as with a little advice from friends who Jaqi says ‘were WAYYY more Instagram savvy than me’ the twins’ followers increased at rapid rates.
Jaqi wrote on her blog how:
‘In a little over two months’ time, the girls had their first 1000 followers. Then exactly 3 months after I started their Instagram account, they hit 3000 followers and I remember thinking…well that came a lot quicker than I had anticipated!’
After she posted some professional headshots of the girls the numbers continued to soar, as she also explains on her blog:
‘The girls’ followers doubled in no time and in only 7 days, Ava and Leah’s account had gone from 3,000 to 15,000 followers. I then decided to post a few more pictures from that same session and three days later it jumped up another 10,000 for a total of 25,000 followers.’
Whilst not quite matching the same crazy speeds as Jennifer Anniston, who reached 1 million followers in just 5 hours 16 minutes when she launched her Instagram account earlier this year, this quick increase of followers in is a remarkable. (It’s even more remarkable when you consider Jaqi wasn’t very familiar with Instagram before creating the account.)
Today not only are the twins’ photos now taken professionally but they have a whopping 1.5 million followers, on their Insta account. For reference I checked my Insta and I can clarify that this is more followers than the likes of Harry Redknapp, Stacey Dooley and George Ezra, to name a few. Not bad going hey?
The twins, who have been hailed the most beautiful girls in the world are also signed to a number of modelling agencies. To date they have worked with MEGA brands including Nike, Mattel, Target, Disney and Sketchers.
Whilst we’re on the subject of collaborations, it’s definitely worth checking out the twins’ current collaboration with Nail and Bone. They are raising money and awareness for SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) after their cousin was diagnosed with the condition. It’s great to see that the girls are working with a brand with a vision of making a great social impact, with 20% of product sales donated to various charities.
But the twins’ success doesn’t come without criticism. Jaqi has been accused of using her children to make money and taking away the twins’ childhood. Jaqi strongly argues against all the criticism. On her blog’ she writes that whilst people think she is gaining money from the twins’ work this isn’t quite true. A lot of the time ‘parents are putting out more money in order to support their kids‘.
And in terms of taking away the kids’ childhood? Jaqi states that the twins enjoy modelling, so what’s the problem? On her blog she says: ‘Did you ever stop to think that modelling actually makes them happy?! If not, let me be the first one to tell you…IT DOES. Some kids enjoy sports or dance or playing an instrument. Some kids like to spend all their time staring at iPads, playing video games or watching TV and not communicating with the outside world. My girls enjoy sports and dance AND modeling’
In her blog post ‘If you have nothing nice to say don’t say it’ Jaqi also addresses other criticism she receives such as the twins wearing makeup. She says
‘For those of you making this comment, it’s clear you know nothing about the industry’
'Do they cake on foundation and make them up to look like someone they aren’t? No! A little blush here, a little lipgloss there a little highlighter to catch the light, and they are ready to go! And even if they did wear bold colored makeup for some type of fun edgy shoot- so what!! It’s fun for them!’
When you think about it, the collaborations between the twins and major businesses can also be criticised. It’s super easy to see why brands such as Disney are using kid influencers to persuade people to purchase their products. An article by MediaKix explains how people want influencers to be relatable and likeable, so kid influencers are perfect for brands who sell to parents and children.
We might want a new piece of clothing because we’ve seen our favourite celeb wearing it. Similarly, Disney’s new product may be at the top of a child’s Christmas list – and parents more likely to buy it – because it’s been endorsed by the Clement twins.
Whilst these collaborations seem like a good thing for both brands influencers, they raise some serious questions. Is it right for brands to ask children to promote their products when they might not understand the effects of doing so? Should parents be agreeing to children persuading people to buy products?
What do you think? Is it okay for the twins to be promoting products because their parents are in control, or should influencers only collaborate with brands when they fully understand the effects of that collaboration?
All I know is that the twins already have an incredibly successful career and it doesn’t look like they’re ready to stop any time soon. In the interview with SweetyHigh they both see themselves still modelling in 10 years’ time.
Now, I’m off to try and get some more followers on Instagram, or shall I just watch Tracy Beaker?
●Before I go, the twins are currently using social media to try and find their father a bone marrow donor, after he has sadly been diagnosed with cancer. In a world where social media is often viewed as a negative, it is hopeful to see how the platform can be used for positive. Wishing the family all the best, in finding a match. #Kevincrushingcancer ●