The world of influencers is strange and alarming for most of us regular folk – the idea that you can jet around the globe and be paid for it as long as you take some butt selfies and stand on cliff-tops in your togs is equal parts insane and envy-inducing. But is there a line? The internet seems to think influencer Marissa Fuchs of FashionAmbitionist getting her engagement allegedly sponsored by brands may, in fact, be a bit too much.

Ok so the proposal is, actually, pretty fucking cute:

IDK, I believe in their love. It seems a lot of people did too, at first – the elaborate proposal organised by Marissa’s partner Gabriel Grossman, involved this global trek from New York City to Montauk to Miami to Paris, all tied to the hashtag #RielLove.

Here is where I started to lose my love for this couple because this pre-proposal video (what) is the fundamental WORST. I fucking hate when people “act” it is very annoying and weird to me, especially if turning your head to the camera is involved, like what? Be normal. Stop this. Also that dog seems far too stiff, I’m concerned.

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WHAT IS HAPPENING?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A post shared by MARISSA CASEY GROSSMAN (@fashionambitionist) on

Anyway, he “organised” this scavenger hunt thing which is all on Marissa’s Instagram, but TL;DR the first stop is a fucking SPIN CYCLE CLASS or some shit, which is honestly hell on Earth to me and if someone proposed to me by leading me to a spin class I’d probably do a murder and go to jail.

My exact reaction to doing exercise

From there, you start to see the potential #spon come through:

There’s plenty more tagged posts of resorts, brands and so on – it’s hard to tell whether Gabriel and Marissa got paid for coverage or if she’s just chronicling her journey. For example, did this dog minding service pay the couple? Or is she just breaking up the #content?

In the end, the pair ended up in Paris and got married, which was also pretty cute.

The world seemed to be following on with glee, until shit turned a bit sour. See, The Atlantic wrote this article which contained a link to an alleged pitch deck sent out to brands prior to the proposal trip.

Advertising experts are also shutting down the suggestion that Marissa wasn’t aware of the alleged spon, with ad exec Bryan Pedersen telling The Atlantic:

“Either her fiancé has been intimately involved in every single aspect of her business and influencer marketing career and knows every detail of her influencer partnerships, or she has had some input into that pitch deck. There’s no way a friend or potential fiancé would know how to put together a pitch deck with that detail.”

Then, Gabriel Grossman actually reached out to The Atlantic late last week to explain a few things.

According to Grossman, the trio received no direct payment for Fuchs’s posts. In fact, he said, most brands didn’t even respond. Almost all the ones that did were companies that Fuchs already had a good working relationship with, such as Flywheel, which put on a free, private class, and the clothing designer LoveShackFancy, which sent Fuchs some free dresses. Glamsquad, an on-demand beauty service, provided free hair and makeup styling. The only major new partnership to develop from the proposal came after Evans got in touch with Flytographer; it provided three photographers for free. Grossman also received a hefty discount on the Jade Trau jewelry he gave Fuchs, but Fuchs has been friends with Trau for a long time and regularly receives discounts on her designs

The general dissent online has been around the monetising of what is usually quite a personal moment for couples.

TBF, many people opt for public proposals – is an Instagram Story version any different to someone proposing on stage at a concert or in the middle of a restaurant? The other conversation is around lying to followers.

This, I think, is a more interesting conversation – how much “gloss” is okay when it comes to influencers? We follow these people for their beautiful pics, but is a faux surprise engagement straight-up lying? Do these people have an obligation to their followers to be truthful and transparent, and if so – how transparent?

Oh god, I’ve been thinking about this too much.

Source: The Atlantic
Image: Instagram / @fashionambitionist