This is arguably the year in which internet self-obsession reached new heights. Not only did we see that digital chronicler of daily minutiae Instagram announce that it had surpassed 100m active users, but the Oxford English Dictionary people announced that “selfie” was to be the official word of the year. Little did they know that all the coolest, on-trend narcissists had already moved on to “yogis” (yoga + selfie) and “belfies” (bum + selfie), leading us to wonder exactly where self-absorption has to go from here. While we’re contemplating that with horror, we thought we’d take a look at the smuggest four corners of the internet currently in existence.
Rich Kids Of Instagram
Launched in 2012, Rich Kids Of Instagram is a blog dedicated to the iPhone snapshots of teens and twentysomethings living opulent lifestyles around the world, like a two-dimensional MTV Cribs for people who aren’t famous. If you live by the philosophy “money talks but wealth whispers”, perhaps look away now, because this is high-pitched shouting. As the website tagline puts it: “They have more money than you and this is what they do.” Much of it involves infinity pools, yachts and private jets, and bar tab receipts going into the tens of thousands. Many of the posts are accompanied by nauseating captions: a picture of a room featuring a giant Lichtenstein canvas bears the words “home is where the art is“; an image of a woman’s head emerging from a sea of Chanel and Hermès bags is tagged as a young man’s “reptile” shoe collection, meanwhile, is labelled #endangered. But even more likely to have you clamouring for revolution are the posts of mock humility: a #livingroom containing an old master and a chandelier, or ”weekend at the farm” involving a young man in red trousers disembarking from a helicopter.
You may think looking at a 17-year-old’s Ferrari (“This is how the pimps roll“) might be an exercise in impoverished masochism, but the lack of self-awareness makes the whole experience strangely gratifying. It’s that old schadenfreude working its magic again. These people may have “more money than you”, but they’re making complete tits of themselves in the process.
American socialite-cum-reality-TV-star-cum-clotheshorse Olivia Butterfield Palermo’s website is an exercise in fashion-fixated egomania. When visitors aren’t busy wanting to “shop Olivia’s closet” for two-grand totebags, they can pick up handy tips including help with “how to rock: green” (“Over the last several years, ‘green’ has come to be – no longer foremost a color [sic]; a way to describe grass, the leaves on a tree, or even your military-inspired coat – but a way of life”). This is, of course, only once you have finished lapping up the exhaustive travel guides: 48 Hours In Venice implores you to “discover hidden gems and craftsman [sic]” in between aperitifs, which presumably you’ll be much in need of after all that work layering statement necklaces.
Smugger still is the accompanying (and relatively new) Instagram account – an endless stream of conspicuous consumption as Palermo enjoys yet more infinity pools (attentive readers might notice a theme emerging), luxury goods shopping (“I can’t think of a better way to start the day in Paris than the ultimate girl’s playground #DIOR”) and interchangeable small dogs, usually flanked by at least one permatanned, ripped himbo henchman in shorty shorts. It has nearly 500,000 followers.
You wouldn’t believe the vegan snack I’ve just had…Gwyneth Paltrow, creator of holier-than-thou lifestyle guide Goop. Phototgraph: © Jack Abuin/ZUMA Press/Corbis
Resisting the urge to self-euthanise while surfing the pages of this holier-than-thou lifestyle guide – which was created by walking celery stick Gwyneth Paltrow – can only be described as an epic struggle. Recipes for “tomato burgers” (bestowing this fruit sandwich with the holy title of ”burger” is an affront to cows everywhere), help on undergoing a ”friendship divorce“, extortionate travel guides… Goop covers a lot of ground. Gwynnie may come in for constant flak from the media, but when she’s peddling a £200 coat for kids and claiming to be intolerant to dairy, gluten, wheat, corn and oats, you can start to see why. The site is divided into sections imploring you to “make”, “go”, “get’, “do”, “be”, “see”, and ”cry” (we may have added that last one ourselves, after being confronted with Paltrow’s candidness regarding her bowel movements). She also signs off all her posts with the words “love, gp”. If you loved us, Gwynnie, you wouldn’t taunt us with your £140 bespoke monogrammed table napkins.
This site has been mercilessly mocked for as long as it has been running (est. 2008), yet Gwyneth continues dictating to her assistant about the bee venom therapy she’s undergone and the monthly box of vegan “snacks” she’s just ordered, and we continue to hate-read. Long may it last.
The Socialite Family
This promises “a sample of smart and cool families” in its tagline, and if there was any reason to feel more depressed about your drunk uncle Bill and the annual Christmas punch-up among your own second-rate relatives, this site is it. Launched last year, it’s divided into assorted “smart and cool” places: think Los Angeles, Paris, Milan and Marseilles, with not even a minimal sprinkling of Gateshead, Bognor Regis and Milton Keynes.
The Socialite Family is property porn at its most depressing: ironic leather sofas, exposed brick walls, and “statement staircases” abound. The children’s bedrooms feature retro movie posters and plain mauve bedspreads, and the grinning, tousle-haired kids are pictured playing with bespoke wooden train sets that their fathers have carved out of an oak branch taken from the back garden. Meanwhile, teenagers pose artfully with bikes outside their parents’ hipster garages (if you thought a hipster garage wasn’t a thing, think again). If your own teens have acne and an attitude problem, and their younger siblings play with Barbies in bedrooms that are more “Walt Disney vomit” than “minimalist lines”, The Socialite Family is here to tell you that you’ve failed. “As soon as we walked through the door, our hearts began to beat faster: from the colour of a wall to a ceramic, we wanted to discover it all at once,” trills one home description. “As in a dream, everything is a source of inspiration.” As in a nightmare, everything is a source of crippling personal inadequacy.
Green Wedding Shoes
A meticulous guide to vintage and “handmade” weddings, the Green Wedding Shoes blog exists “because you are truly madly deeply head over heels in love”, and yet ironically has the effect of completely eliminating that feeling within minutes of browsing its saccharine offerings. There are all stages of “love” here, from vintage circus weddings to honeymoon adventures. “Take a road trip with your sweetie in a rented vintage Airstream!” the site helpfully suggests. Because that isn’t guaranteed to end your marriage quicker than an unwanted pregnancy and a gambling problem.
Chock-a-block with questions that are supposed to be rhetorical, such as, “Who doesn’t love looking at and talking about celebrity fashion?” as well as nauseatingly hipster titbits – “They came up with the perfect theme (and coined a new term!): Nashcago, a blend of the two cities that brought them together, Nashville + Chicago! Ester + Matt describe their fictional city as ‘one part country, two parts awesome and everything about who they are’ ” – Green Wedding Shoes ignores the fact that most problems at a reception centre around in-law controversy and inappropriate best man behaviour, rather than how to strew bunting around your favourite converted barn. Sadly, there’s no category for ”shotgun wedding”, “just turned 35 and paranoid about my age wedding”, or “trying to look classy the fourth time round wedding”.
‘Hysterically camp’ fashion blogger BryanBoy. Photograph: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com/Rex
Legendary Filipino fashion blogger BryanBoy’s eponymous website is so in your face that one newspaper labelled it “hysterically camp”, a description that we could only term a wild understatement. A recent post shows Bryan modelling a pair of blue-and-gold Just Cavalli leopardprint leggings and a Valentino clutch, the appeal of which, he explains, lies in having it ”monogrammed with your initials“, making it, unusually for this loathsome day and age, where anyone can “pretty much get anything”, “truly and only yours”. Still, that was a quiet day sartorially compared with the posts of his matching python skin jacket and shorts combo. It’s Bryan’s penchant for adventurous clothing (he is quite the fan of leather hotpants) that has made him an international internet celebrity. Well, that and his relentless social climbing, which necessitates the regular posting of pictures with famous people. As Marc Jacobs said to him, “I give you a 10 for effort.”
The jury’s still out on how much self-awareness this man is capable of (a September update, titled Austerity and describing the agonising conundrum he suffered as to whether to buy a pair of Balenciaga cut-out boots from Barneys suggests none), or indeed whether he is actually a real person as opposed to an Anna Wintour-created cyborg in culottes and a fur coat. But occasionally there’s a clue that there might be more to him. Back in February, following a shopping spree in Beverly Hills, there was a rare moment of contrition. “I’m not gonna lie, thinking about the obscene amount of money we spend on clothes, shoes and accessories on a regular basis… only to end up in the back of our closets, made me sick to my stomach,” he wrote, before popping into Cartier for some bling.
A compilation of kiddies in designer clothes, posing against artful backgrounds with frighteningly self-aware pouts on their four-year-old faces. Some choice examples include “Avery Dax, 14 months“, photographed in what look suspiciously like skinny jeans. He’s too young to walk around without smashing his head into the kitchen table, but we’ll tell you what he’s not too young for: channelling Johnny Depp. And let’s not forget the pre-school fashion shoot, featuring one stylish toddler in a buttoned-up shirt, braces and elaborate pink hair bow. It’s amazing how kids today take sartorial inspiration from Annie Hall even before they learn to control their bowel movements.
Even more distressing, though, is the number of people reblogging these pictures, accompanied by such comments as, “Ooooh my god! Are you checking her suspenders though!?!” Congratulations, people, you’ve produced a world where a baby is the latest must-have fashion accessory.
A recent post on The Londoner features a discussion on how its writer is pioneering the “carb-free garlic butter mash“, and it’s all downhill from there. Rosie, who started the blog in 2011, runs The Londoner full time from advertising profits, and describes herself as a “roaming blogger” with a love of nautical style (“Welcome aboard, sailor!”).
Her expertise is wide-ranging, from policing your eating habits through her own Anti-Diet Diet (complete with Physical Hunger v Emotional Hunger chart and admonishments only sporadically to indulge in “slutty brownies”) to fashion, which doesn’t exclude styling for her dog, Custard (“Custard couture“). When she’s not putting him in a bow tie and declaring that “a good stripe never goes out of fashion”, The Londoner is just as likely to be seen describing a first date (on one of her latest, to Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant, she wears “very little make-up and a big smile”, and asks her taxi driver to drive round the block a few times because she’s early, thus proving how incredibly lucrative her humble blog must be).
Somewhere in between watching her sporting “Christmas jumpers in Chelsea” and trying to make sense of her recipe for skinny green popcorn, some readers might begin fervently to wish that they could drown in a vat of Rosie’s bright orange carrot juice concoction if it meant never again having to encounter the words “killer detox”.
Article source: http://feeds.theguardian.com/c/34708/f/663828/s/3481a054/sc/4/l/0L0Stheguardian0N0Ctechnology0C20A130Cdec0C0A60Cselfies0Estatus0Eupdates0Edigital0Ebragging0Eweb/story01.htm