I didn’t post last week because I was “in my feelings”. I’m not gonna say “I can’t believe we’re still dealing with this bullshit in 2014”, because that’s a specific kind of privilege if you think this was an isolated incident. And just to be clear, yes, it’s about specific people and a specific place, because Mike Brown mattered to a lot of people. But it’s also about way more than that. It’s been really interesting (and by interesting, I mean infuriating) to read some of the pseudo-political/sociological commentary that have popped up on Facebook (AKA one of the world’s most reliable news source, only second to the Onion).
There are people eviscerating the basics by dropping cold, hard knowledge. To those people… I’ve admired you since college and am jealous of your absolute brilliance with words. Those people who write essays as statuses and even though you want to hate on their use of big, lengthy words, you can’t help but snap and say “Yasss” to all the truths they’re spitting. Yeah, you have been giving me life this week.
So while, I don’t have the words and have never had the words to express myself coherently on certain matters (know your talents people!) this person said what I would have wanted to say.
And just to be clear, I am still very much “in my feelings”. But for [however long it takes to write this post], I’m boxing up those feelings to bring you my latest thoughts/awkward adventures. Plus, my mother has reminded several times that she was waiting to read my latest blog post, so there’s also that.
Friends (and mother), I’m pretty honest with y’all about my awkward run-ins (See my post on Meeting Issa Rae or Speed Dating). So it is my duty to let y’all know about my encounter with an Instagram famous person.
I huffed and puffed trying to get to the top of these damn stairs. I finally made it to the top, collapsed on the ground and noticed someone taking selfies out of the corner of my eye. My initial reaction was, “If you look good enough to be posting on Instagram, you’re not doing right.” Upon closer examination, I started to think, “This girl looks really familiar. Maybe she lives in my neighborhood or something.” A few more seconds of awkward staring, “Nope, not a neighbor. She looks like she’s wearing Lululemon. We can’t afford that in my neighborhood”
At this point, I looked like a furrowed brow, sweaty creep, trying to figure out who this person is. And then it dawned on me. She’s that person from Instagram. I wasn’t even sure how I started following her but since following her made me feel deeply inadequate in the derrière department, I had to click the unfollow button.
Plus, I also realized that I didn’t actually know her nor did I care about her life.
Anyways, somewhere between catching my breath and realizing that I was in the presence of a social media C-lister (that’s not a read. I mean it as a compliment), her friend started to talk to me and asked me if I wanted to join them for a second climb. And this is the inner monologue that I had before finally saying yes.
– “You should do it again. It’s good for your heart. Ok, but what if she has one of those apps that tells her when people unfollow her? And what if she also has one of those apps that lets her know when Instagram users are in the area? And what if she’s one of those people who takes it personally when people unfollow her? I don’t know if you can take the risk of her pushing you down this hill, or even worse, asking you why you unfollowed her.”
Now, obviously I was being ridiculous and the girl could not give a flying fuck who I was. She actually barely acknowledged my presence. I guess my measly 200 followers puts me on the Z-list, lower than the bottom of the social media totem pole. But my brief encounter with social media noblesse made me realize that there was a larger gradient of celebrity in Los Angeles.
Sidebar, can we actually talk about how “Instagram famous” or “Vine famous” are a thing? People are literally famous for posting pictures or making 6-second videos. Gone are the days when people were famous for being great actors or singers.
And they’re not like, “Oh my mom thinks I’m the bees knees and tells her friends” famous. No! These people have fans. They have people who try to straddle that, oh so delicate, line between admirer and stalker (Spoiler alert: Most of them are failing). These people, “models” if we use the term quite loosely, are popping up everywhere and getting PAID.
They’re usually scantily clad, with a caption that reads “Just so excited to start my Christmas shopping” (mind you, this picture is usually posted mid-February). And then there’s the legion of people commenting on how beautiful they are (that’s the PG version).
Don’t get me wrong. I have absolutely nothing against taking pictures of your body in little to no clothing. If you’ve got a body (which every one does) and would like to take a picture of it, go ahead. But can we stop pretending that you took and posted this picture in the middle of solving differential equations, like your caption would like us to believe?
Just take the picture and write “I know that I’m hot and I want you to know it too. And I also have
delusions dreams that this will lead to a modelling career”. I’m sure you’re also brilliant. This picture just isn’t necessarily an accurate portrayal of said brilliance. Now if you wore glasses, that’d be a different story.
(See, the cat knows what’s up!)
Notice that I’m not including Youtube famous people in this discussion. I think that the people who do Youtube are very often creative and interesting people who found a medium that was better suited for their budget.
a) They’re (mostly) legitimately talented or knowledgeable about makeup/hair
b) I don’t know what I would do on weekends without Black and Sexy TV (Bonus point: Home girl Numa is of Haitian descent, in case you needed another reason to support besides the quality of the shows)
c) I/Most natural girls wouldn’t know about twist-outs/braid-outs/TWAs/bantu knots etc… Plus, your girl has dreams of being Youtube famous one day.
Hear that slightly high-pitched voice, with the irritating yet soothing quality in the background? Exactly! Remember that, because next time, Imma be in front of the camera. If Fran Drescher could do it with those pipes, I’m sure there’s a niche market for me (Jokes Fran! I love The Nanny)
I don’t know. I just can’t get behind Instagram fame. Are you really trying to tell me that picking between “Mayfair” and “Valencia” requires skill?
Maybe I’m just hating because these people are making bank and here I am struggling to buy name brand laundry detergent. Now that’s some bull!
But fo’ real though, is this a personal problem? Do you think that I’m being a hater and people on Instagram deserve every bit of fame for choosing the right filter? Let me know in the comments!
Oh and FYI, my super talented friend is designing a logo/banner for the blog. So keep an eye out for that. I figured including this tidbit in this post will a) test her to see if she reads it, and b) put it out there so that she can’t back out. Love you *Adidas*(like the shoe 😉 )