An influencer who teased her millions of followers about a “major life update” has been branded “out of touch” and “tone deaf” after revealing she had purchased a second home to film sponsored content for brands.
Health and fitness YouTuber Sarah Stevenson revealed in her latest video that she and her husband Kurt Tilse had been searching for an investment property for some time.
The parents of two boys were staying at an Airbnb close to a property they were interested in when they shared the news, which featured in Tuesday’s vlog on her ‘Sarah’s Day’ account.
But it was the way she delivered the news that angered some viewers.
While sitting on the balcony of their short-stay accommodation, the pair shared they were looking for a “potential investment opportunity” and they had gone on a short two-night holiday to attend their first auction.
“A few weeks ago we came up here, we looked at the property, we really liked it and then today’s the auction,” Stevenson said.
“If we miss out on it, it’s fine like it’s not a big deal we’ll just go elsewhere … it’s not like we’re looking for a home.”
The Cronulla couple didn’t reveal the location they were staying in or where the home was.
Later in the video, Stevenson revealed how nervous she was to be attending the auction, before her son Fox asked “if you win what do you get?”.
“If you win, you get the land,” Stevenson responded.
Tilse added: “You get the house but we’re going to knock the house down because it’s garbage.”
“The person even selling it knows it’s garbage, it’s just the land’s really good,” Stevenson chimed in.
While the auction itself wasn’t filmed, the result was made clear to the video’s viewers with a lengthy piece-to-camera from Stevenson at the end of Tuesday’s vlog.
Before revealing the couple had successfully bought the property, Stevenson cleared the air by stating the “investment property” was to become more of a holiday home and “photo shoot house” for her brands.
“For the past two years, I’ve been keeping my eye on different properties, knockdown rebuilds, or pieces of land,” she said.
“Awkward is not the right word, I just don’t feel worthy. It’s so surreal that I’m even having this conversation because never in a million years did I think I would be in a position and have the opportunity to be able to undertake a project like this.”
Stevenson went on to explain the “surreal” feeling she was experiencing, stating the opportunity was never one she saw “in the cards” for her family.
“It’s kind of awkward to navigate this conversation because, like I said, I never want it to be like ‘look at us, look at what we have, look at what we’re doing’, but yes it has been a goal of mine.”
She later explained the house would be used as a holiday home for her immediate and extended family, as well as a place that could be hired for an event or photo shoot.
After detailing the auction’s events, Stevenson told her viewers she anticipated the renovation project to take about three years to complete.
“If I don’t talk about it anytime soon … it’s not because I’m keeping it from you guys, it’s just going to be a really slow process,” she said.
“I just really want to make sure that I’m living in the moment and acknowledging this is one of my biggest dreams and goals.”
The video ended with Stevenson thanking her followers for their support, with many applauding the mum in return through a flood of congratulatory messages.
“Don’t be scared to share your achievements! You work so hard for what you and Kurt have built together. You’re an inspiration for all mummies and wannabe mummies,” one woman said.
Another excited follower exclaimed: “Congratulations Sarah!! Girl you should be so proud, it‘s freaking amazing all that you do. Never feel like you’re bragging, it’s inspiring and so great to see someone I admire so much achieve the things I want in my own life.”
But not all were pleased with the news, particularly given Stevenson had shared her experience as thousands of other Australians struggle with the rising cost of living and housing affordability crisis.
Instagram account @aussieinfluenceropinions shared its thoughts on the news, stating in a post that while the news was “life changing” for the family, it wasn’t the right time to share the information.
“If it were me in her shoes though, I probably wouldn’t have announced it,” the post read.
“Given that there is a cost of living crisis happening in Australia (at the moment) … I’m torn.”
Followers of the account shared their views of the situation, with one critic going as far to say the announcement was “tacky and shows absolutely zero self-awareness”.
“People can spend their money on whatever they want …(but) like, read the room. it makes zero marketing sense for her own brand because this isn’t inspirational or aspirational, just out of touch,” they said.
Another added: “People can spend their money however they like, but making a video about it to make more money is tacky.”
“You know someone is so out of touch that they make a monetised youtube video to announce they are rich and purchased a million dollar investment property. Never knew someone to try to stay relevant by being so unrelatable,” a third commented.
Despite the criticism, Stevenson continues to boast 1.2 million followers on Instagram, 1.5 million subscribers on youtube and a fanbase of 206,200 people on TikTok.
She is the founder of healthy cooking and recipe website Sunee, the co-founder of creative production agency House of Groms and co-host of podcast The Healthcode alongside her husband Tilse.
Originally published at www.news.com.au