Shani Grimmond is the voice of young Australian women.
The 20-year-old beauty and lifestyle YouTuber might not agree with that statement, but with a combined social media following of over three million people – almost all of them tweens and teens – it’s hard to twist it any other way. In selectively sharing her life Grimmond has reached icon status; her merchandise and clothing brand, SG The Label, sells out mere minutes after its shelves are restocked.
When they’re not sending her boxes of free products, brands pine after the influencer like they would a celebrity; to be endorsed and approved by Shani Grimmond is akin to being praised by a millennial Oprah.
Her power to sell makeup to the masses has seen the Gold Coaster flown across Australia in a private jet, as well as travel on paid branded vacations to London and The Maldives in 2018 alone. In the case of The Maldives, she’s been paid to go twice. It’s February.
In some respects, we are talking about your ordinary 20-year-old. One who spends her weekends at festivals, on the beach or going clubbing. Who is experiencing the brutal force of heartbreak, anxiety and self-esteem issues in real time. And yet, in the same breath, Shani Grimmond is anything but ordinary. This is a woman who drives around in a slick new Range Rover worth $100,000 – a woman who lives in a high-rise apartment and dons herself in designer threads. A woman who has enjoyed wealth, fame and success from having an uncanny ability to connect with girls she has never met.
Despite most influencers’ social currency naturally waning over time, Grimmond’s soars year on year.
If you’re the mother of a teenage girl, you’ll likely find she’s one of Grimmond’s many adoring followers.
This all begs a few questions: How has a 20-year-old cultivated such a loyal following, and why do young women find her so captivating?
One explanation is that Grimmond expertly navigates a well-tested pathway to online success: She epitomises what Instagram beauty looks like in 2018, while also feeding fans crumbs of information about the ins and outs of her private life. In July, over 1.8 million people watched Grimmond announce her split from manager and boyfriend Johnathon Sauer in a video titled “We Broke Up.”