Influencer pictures are like sausages: a disturbing sight to see get made. But channels like @influencersinthewild offer essential insight into the influencers' process and the sacrifices they make to reach the top of their field. (Not just one, but several energy drink sponcons). Specifically, the sacrifice of every shred of human dignity and decorum to chase that perfect shot.
One of an influencer's biggest assets is ironically the mental ability to switch off awareness of their optics. Which can explain why influencers are totally fine with blocking traffic for 20 minutes just to nail a single butt selfie, while the rest of us still have traumatic flashbacks of that moment in 2011 when the waiter said: "Enjoy your meal," and we responded: "You too."
And if sociopathy is the name of the game, no wonder that these semi-pro posers are already getting caught exploiting the BlackLivesMatter protests for their personal Gram gain, getting pics of themselves standing glamorously in front of destroyed shops and grim marches for that relevant #content.
But it isn't just the kind desperate wannabes who'd photobomb Bill Murray's funeral, let alone a march against police brutality, if that was top trending. YouTuber Jake Paul, the Liam Hemsworth to Logan Paul's Chris, was called out for pretending to be a citizen journalist so he could live-stream looting like it was an unboxing video, stopping just short of asking viewers smash that like button like a looter smashing a Target window.
Meanwhile, conservative journalist Fiona Moriarty-McLaughlin was videoed asking to borrow the drill of a man boarding up his storefront. Not to help patch up the barricade, mind. Instead, she awkwardly fumbled it around to take a little PR pic before handing the tool back. She then rushed to her Mercedes while mumbling "Black Lives Matter" with the practiced insincerity of a woman who resents having to ask her doorman how his sick kid is doing.
The callous, amoral stunt apparently got Moriarty-McLaughlin fired from her position at the Washington Examiner. But let's be real, if Kendall Jenner's Pepsi ad from 2017 wasn't enough warning for fame parasites never to exploit the fight against injustice, this will keep happening no matter the backlash. So, with the protests nearing their third week, those on the frontlines may have to get used to sharing their space with someone squeezing right underneath to get that perfect blood splatter slow-mo vid, or being asked to get out of the way so their boyfriend can be guided by the hand through a particularly pretty cloud of teargas.
You will never catch Cedric outside, influencing or otherwise, but you can follow him on Twitter.
Top Image: Jake Paul