Veronica: Well, it just took me 15 mins to figure out how Gchat works. Apparently, I’m a dinosaur who is here to chat with you about pop culture. Needless to say, I feel VERY ill prepared.
Amelia: Me too! Okay good. I should’ve been studying pop culture
Veronica: So here we are, on this Gchat to talk out our feelings in our first ever… Pop Pen Pals? Is that what we’re calling it? I don’t love the title honestly.
Amelia: Pop Pen Pals is a work in process. We can fine tune
Veronica: Chat it Out? Eh. I hate it more. Alright, fine. Pop Pen Pals (WIP) Wait – what if we just called it WIP?
Amelia: I feel like a WIP most days. I already love having a pen pal btw.
Veronica: I’ve never had one!
Amelia: My last pen pal was when I was 8 and she lived in my same town and was in my ballet class. But, in our letters we acted like we lived in different countries. I’d be like “Dear Susan, what is new with you? How is your life?” and then I’d see her at ballet, but we wouldn’t acknowledge each other.
Veronica: HAHAHA. You can only get away with that psycho shit when you’re under 10
Amelia: So, if you and I see each other in a dance class, please don’t speak to me.
Veronica: Noted. I will avert my eyes. Okay, I guess I should intro this for the people at home, who aren’t in this delightful digital chat room with us right now.
Veronica: So, Amelia is the woman behind the hilarious hoarding essay you can find here. We met in the Atacama desert where we discovered we both have a strange obsession with a particular individual … Kelly Oxford. She is an author and screenwriter, and she writes for Busy Philipps’, Busy Tonight…so, she’s very successful as writers go. But, her Instagram presence both mystifies and baffles us, making us feel all the weird things.
Amelia: What I can’t reconcile is her snarky humor mixed with a steady stream of wistful selfies… like the lying-on-your-bed-staring-dramatically-at-the-phone kind of selfies. It’d be like if Amy Schumer started taking pics in front of walls with angel wings painted on them.
Veronica: Are we even allowed to be annoyed by anyone’s instagram-ness, if it’s not directly harming us?
Amelia: Why do you continue to follow?
Veronica: Because it’s like a car crash and I can’t look away.
Amelia: Exactly! Well, I also think it allows me to be smug.
Veronica: Ooo. I never thought about that. But, can you be smug with less than 1k followers? Are we even trying to get followers? I think i am but then i never post so i’m clearly not…
Amelia: Because I can look at a beautiful woman on instagram and even though I’m sitting in sweatpants and a shirt with pit stains and i haven’t showered, I’m like “ANOTHER SELFIE?!!!” I may look like a troll, but at least I didn’t post 3 selfies in a row.
Well, if I’m being totally honest, hell yeah I’m trying to get followers. I think the key is to get followers, but to act like you don’t care. But, I don’t know what’s worse, being honest about caring or pretending like you’re too cool…
Veronica: Hmmm. Yeah, I have that same reaction to selfies — but is there anything different from their blatant selfie and a weird obscure shot of me in Scotland — same principal, different tactic. And theirs seem to work better anyway…so is the joke on us?
Amelia: Yeah, good point. And aren’t we all supposed to practice self love these days? So, if someone is feeling his or herself and snaps a selfie, shouldn’t I say GOOD FOR YOU!
Veronica: If only I was always that blatantly positive. Instead I’m a cranky troll who is going to get wrinkles from all my frowning at every selfie I see.
KO has also changed her aesthetic over the years, she used to be much more nerdy cool book girl, and now it’s much more hollywood thirst trap-y. Which makes me wonder if that had anything to do with moving to LA?
Amelia: Since I moved to LA recently, i need to know when I’ll become a thirst trap
Veronica: I should note the reason we are talking about this in depth is because she posts about it in depth). And therefore, I feel like we have a right to dissect? She’s created a public persona for herself, so I feel like I’m able to analyze that public persona w/in reason, no?
Amelia: Yes, we are fed a steady stream of these celebrity (are they celebrities?) lives… what funny thing happened at their work, what their kids are up to, what they wore, where they’re vacationing, etc. And then we sit in analyze it, but also feel bad about caring so much about a stranger’s life. But also, what are we supposed to do with that info?! it’s like a badly produced reality show and i LOVE reality tv.
Veronica: I’m also curious about her posting so much about her kids. I’ve recognized bloggers children on the street before with their nanny and it CREEPS ME OUT
Amelia: yes! you know Drawbertson? the artist? he has adorable twin boys and I’ve seen them scootering in Venice and I’m a creep for recognizing 4-yr-olds, but i didn’t ask for this!!
Veronica: And I’m sorry for being of the female age where my ovaries are on fire and i commit a kid’s face to my memory really quickly. Also, you know KO and Busy Philipps became friends on insta, right? KO just DM’d Busy and asked if their daughters could be friends…
Amelia: WAIT WHAT?!!!!! that is insane
Veronica: Again, i know too much.
Amelia: Like they thought their content could overlap nicely so the kids should play together
Veronica: I think KO’s daughter needed friends in LA / KO needed friends
Amelia: i didn’t know people slipped into each others DMs for playdates
Veronica: THAT’S HOW KO MET HER CURRENT BF TOO
Amelia: it’s time we ask ourselves, what do we want and who do we DM about this? Have you ever DM’d a stranger to say, wanna hang out?
Veronica: no. never. even just saying it makes me creeped out. OH WAIT. i did cold email someone who i saw featured on a blog. and now we’re friends. is an email better?
Amelia: yeah, i think that’s more traditional
Veronica: and i did once stalk a girl at a workout class i liked, and now we’re friends too. I guess i’m very aggressive about making friends
Amelia: blogs and emails are very old school. may as well have sent a letter in the post
Veronica: with a wax seal and quill pen
Amelia: i wrote a story a VERY long time ago about open relationships and i actually interviewed a friend of mine who was in an open relationship. Side story: it sucked because it was an “as told to” situation, but the “as told to” was in small print, and the headline said “How sleeping around saved my relationship by Amelia Mularz” but it wasn’t about me!! it was AS TOLD TO me
Veronica: HAHAHAHAAHAHAH. I’M DYING. DYING
Amelia: But anyway, the story went up 8 years ago [EDITOR’S NOTE: this piece actually went up four years ago, Amelia just likes to be dramatic] on YourTango and just a few months ago a random woman who read the story hunted me down and DM’d me to ask if I’m still in an open relationship and i was like, first of all, it was AS TOLD TO ME!
Veronica: People don’t really know how journalism works…
Amelia: …second of all, no. they broke up and it didn’t work at all. And now she’s married to someone else. The woman never responded to my response. i think i crushed her with the news that it didn’t work. she prob wanted permission to sleep around and i didnt give it to her so she was out
Veronica: peeps always want permission to cheat.
Amelia: Should we (as in normal people like us) be honing a personal brand on insta?
Veronica: unfortunately yes. Unless you’re Meryl Streep it’s weird if you don’t define your brand. And I HATE THAT I HAVE TO SAY THAT. and i hate even more that i have to do it…but i actually don’t do it…i post i think 6 times a year
Amelia: As a travel writer i feel like i always need beautiful vistas, but then i post a dumb pic of my nephews and I’m like, I’ll never work again!! But you’re a real mystery on the gram. i guess i’m busy philipps and you’re michelle williams in this friendship
Veronica: Ha. Michelle is too much mystery though. Like i don’t even know what her laugh sounds like. does she laugh?
Amelia: she laughs like a pixie
Veronica: She just vomits glitter when she laughs. Okay, last point, the female thing we didn’t touch on probably b/c we didn’t want to…
Veronica are we double standardizing women on insta?
Amelia: Well, I don’t really follow men. Eh that’s not true. But, I follow more women than men
Veronica. I mean, i follow Khal Drogo. I may or may not have notifications for when he posts.
Amelia: GOOD ONE. i follow michael rappaport. and he always does videos of his face. but, i also don’t really care how they present themselves. and i never pick at him for that
Veronica: women either try too much, or not enough. or, they try to look like they’re not trying when they really are, like it’s women who try too much or not enough. I do it too. It’s so wrong. I’m the worst for even remotely scrutinizing.
Amelia: i admit it too. it’s like with politics. only women candidates have to deal with being likable
Veronica: and how they present themselves / what they wear
Amelia: but trump is the least likable person on the planet (next to maybe Putin), and nobody cares. or I should say, a lot of people care. but Trump’s base doesn’t care. so in conclusion, yes, we want a lot out of our women. too much. it ain’t right
Veronica: i guess that’s what makes we really sad — when i catch myself perpetuating this. but also, i can’t ignore pop culture because i do think so much of this stuff is relevant to larger convos about our culture. even if that larger convo is me realizing i’m being a dick
Amelia: like i want the women i follow to be smart, but not too smart because that’s pretentious, but also stylish, but not in your face because then i feel bad, but also they should eat Mcdonalds filet o’ fish but also like get invited to Cannes. we want women we can admire, but if they’re too perfect, we feel bad about ourselves
Veronica: at the end it comes down on us, other women
Veronica: alright we’re going to work on this. i’m accepting kelly and all her thirst traps. i will like all her photos in support for the next month
Amelia: she is beautiful and smart and cool and has a hot younger boyfriend and you know what, I’m very happy for her. i also vow to like all her photos and say to myself with every selfie I see of her, GOOD FOR YOU AGREED
Veronica: so glad we fixed the world
Amelia: i think we solved social media
Amelia: oh god, i just found 3-day old yogurt embedded in my ring. i noticed as i was typing. i really need to fix myself