San Francisco, CA - The American Meme': Inside Paris Hilton and Hailey Bieber's Social-Media Addiction. The new Netflix documentary 'The American Meme' examines our social media obsession through the eyes of its popular “influencers. #blessed #grateful Movie is by Bert Marcus.
"It's like being introduced to a new drug, but this new drug has only been available for a year, and we don't know the effects of it," says Stephen Dorff who is known as "the Brittney Spears video".
In 2004 when I launched Anina.net at the Art 'Posthume movement, in an exhibition called "A New Kind of Supermodel", I predicted the rise of the social media models and how in the future models would use social media to promote brands. In my mind, I used it at the time becoming the first model blogger on google, to boost myself into the spotlight of mainstream media and news. I myself aligned my brand with Nokia and harnessed their PR power to land full-page spreads in magazines and online platforms for our many cooperations.
However, I like this second generation of online stars, disappeared for a while from the limelight due to the burnout from constant content creation - and unlike them - the China firewall. I stopped blogging and switched to wechat and weibo Chinese social media when I went behind China's great firewall. With the birth of VPN's and my recent move back to the USA to launch my company's products, I have found my new voice and way to use social media to place into the world what I wish to leave behind in my internet archive legacy. You can follow me on Instagram here, Facebook here, and twitter here.
I watched the movie and found some interesting points:
Paris Hilton is the one who leads the online influencer internet revolution.
It is pretty amazing how they document how Paris Hilton leads the influencer revolution of the internet to self-made online celebrities. She was the first one to become a brand, to create products, become an actress, turn into a DJ, create a virtual avatar in VR, and continuously re-invent herself and up the game.
"I wake up in the morning and check all my social media. I love my fans just as much as they love me. My fans are like my family. I'm on a plane 256 days in a year...but my fans I can truly be myself. They genuinely love me. They say that watching me go through so much makes them stronger and helps them go on," says Paris Hilton #thelittlehiltons #Mom
2. The Fat Jewish credits Paris Hilton for the age of influencers. He believes it is going to crash, however. He created a rose wine branded product because he is really good at marketing so that he would have something remain when the bubble implodes.
"If it makes sense, I don't want to be there." says Josh Ostrovsky aka the Fat Jewish, "What I do is cultural commentary. It's a new kind of art form."
3. DJ Khaled saw social media fame coming before anyone did.
"I'm building a brand. It's just something natural that comes out of me. You are looking at 25 years of blood, sweat, and tears in the making. I just had a vision of being one of the biggest music moguls in the world," says Khaled.
4. Brittany Furlan found an outlet for her acting on Vine.
"I had all this content and I would just vomit it out on social media. When you do well and a crowd cheers and they love you, it's the best feeling in the world."
5. Emily Ratajakowski found that she could boost her modelling career because of her instagram follower count.
"At first it was just a job for me, and then it exploded online. It's really empowering, when I look back at models and actresses from long ago, everything was filtered through the media. And now I have a direct connection to 15Million people. The control that a woman can have on her own image...It's what 4th wave feminism is about accessibility to technology."
6. Hailey Baldwin became a model because of her ability to connect brands to an audience.
"When is enough enough? I don't want to watch kids lighting themselves on fire. That's just crazy. What if you woke up tomorrow and you were a nobody, you had no followers and had nothing. Can you go back to being yourself?"
The Flipside of The American Meme
As The American Meme movie moves forward, the stars start to experience the pitfalls of fame. Paris Hilton's video of her having sex with her ex-boyfriend surfaces on the internet and remains a searchable term on porn sites to this day. Everyone was making fun of it on TV, she was hounded by the press, and she did not leave her hour for months because she was so embarrassed. She felt like every single person had watched it and was talking about her behind her back. "It felt like I had been raped," says Paris, "I literally wanted to die at one point. I didn't want to be known as that."
When Twitter shut down Vine, it screwed Brittany Furlan all the way back to ground zero where she has had to start over. Brittany, in searching for roles outside of her own videos on Vine, finds herself unable to be cast for roles because she is seen only as her online persona as "the Vine girl". Before shutting down, Brittany got to experience what it was like when younger demographic came on to Vine, and started to send her hate tweets saying that she was a racist. The tastes changed she found herself at odds with her decreasing audience.
"Don't ever forget that Kim Kardashian was Paris Hilton's intern. I think it's pretty clear, who invented the entire game. Who navigated us into the new world." says Josh Ostrovsky aka the Fat Jewish.
The American Meme lets the viewers come to their own conclusion about the different perspectives: building a brand, monetizing, but no way out. I think that all brands have this lifecycle.
"What he does, has no reflection on his personal nature. He's like an actor. If there's an actor who portrays a character, it's not reflective of the person portraying the character," says the mother of slutwhisperer.
I can't really agree with this statement. We are responsible for what we put out into the world and what remains until the electricity goes out is the internet archive. The comments from the slutwhisperer, his style of photography, and his persona have a dated timeline until the #metoo movement changes the culture of the world to no longer tolerate his style of media - or until his liver gives out. He said in the film that he'd been coughing up blood and he could not remember coming home, what happened at the club, and was still drunk in the morning.
The Fat Jewish
The Fat Jewish got nailed by media for plagiarism so badly that his deals started to fall through with Comedy Central, shows The American Meme Movie. Why did the world come down on the Josh Ostrovsky, was because he was the best at stealing other people's comedy. "I was the first to do it. People found out you could make money off of it, and now lots of kids do it." he says, "The whole thing had been brewing for a while and the movement needed a face, and they put the face on me."
DJ Khaled has now put his son on Instagram in order to keep his profile up and as he says, "Keep hustling." The question that was poised by people leads us to wonder as his son grows up and everyone continues to reminisce about his baby Instagram posts, will it have a damaging effect on him as he matures and enters into young adulthood? "When is it enough?" asks a female television host.
What I Found Real
I appreciate how transparent the characters in this documentary film were about the pitfalls and the high moments. They found their humanity again after going through the cycle of face tune and photoshop.
The American Meme movie summarizes the influencer's experiences with the takeaway as you cannot be thin-skinned. The internet can be a cruel place and everyone only gets their Andy Warhol 15 minutes of fame. When it's done it's done, says The American Meme Movie.
...Unless you are Paris Hilton, who continues to reinvent herself over and over by building her online megalopolis of 19 different product lines. dog clothes, hair car, makeup, handbags, lingerie, fragrances, clothing that just keeps growing.