Don’t underestimate the power of an Insta influencer.
Don’t underestimate the power of an Insta influencer.

James Weir Reviews: Scary reality of Insta influencers

NOTHING is more intimidating or dangerous than being locked in a room full of Instagram influencers. Every move is captured, every word recorded. Make one embarrassing facial expression and you could be forever ruined by a single post.

This week, a hashtag of influencers (there's no official collective noun for a group of influencers so we'll go with hashtag) swarmed into a movie theatre to watch an advance screening of A Simple Favour and madly post about it. The movie was fine. Anna Kendrick played Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively wore a lot of pantsuits. But it was the influencers who were most captivating.

How ‘bout a nice hot cup of detox tea?
How ‘bout a nice hot cup of detox tea?

Their powers are often joked about, but you don't truly understand their monumental gift until you're locked in a confined space with them.

Within seconds, I was influenced. Halfway through the movie, the overwhelming urge to purchase a teeth whitening laser from Instagram hit. It was almost subliminal.

While witches wear black pointy hats and have green skin and recite spells, influencers wear caped jackets and too much illuminator.

"Clarendon, Sierra, Valencia, Perpetua!" they chanted as they tapped away on their spell books.

Cravings for detox tea rumbled and my mind was suddenly filled with an unusual amount of knowledge about those Jenner girls.

Hashtags hurled through the dark theatre like ninja fighting stars and iPhone cameras filmed live from every angle like CCTV. Fear set in as a I began to realise I was probably appearing in the background of about 25 separate Instagram Stories while fisting Maltesers into my face.

This was the really dangerous part. Within hours, would I be appearing in feeds around the world? I prayed my moment of mindless bingeing wouldn't be screenshotted and immortalised as a meme - the internet transforming me against my will into the latest iteration of the "Ermahgerd Gersberms" girl.

"Ermahgerd Muhrl-turz-ers," are the words I feared would be emblazoned across my face, mid-chew, as chocolate covered malt balls tumbled down my reclining body.

That didn't happen. But the lesson has been learnt. Next time you're in a room filled with influencers, play it safe - only sip detox tea and pick at some vitamin pills.


WHEN news came this week that Channel 10 plans to revive Changing Rooms, we made an unimpressed face - as if we just walked into our living room and discovered someone had broken in while we were at work and painted a gross mural on the wall.

But then we realised people breaking into other people's homes and painting gross murals on random walls is basically the whole premise of Changing Rooms, and our unimpressed faces were immediately filled with glee.

The return of the '90s renovation show is perhaps the most surprising comeback to result from the reboot trend. I thought for sure Who Dares Wins would come back first. Suburban dads in cargo shorts jumping out of helicopters to grasp at a $50 note tied to a piece of string is hilarious no matter how many times it happens.

Shaynna Blaze’s living room. Source: BBC.
Shaynna Blaze’s living room. Source: BBC.

But the more we thought about it, the more it made sense. The truly terrible results of Changing Rooms are what make it so brilliant. Crappy DIY jobs and the lack of design experience from the people involved is what sets it apart from the glitz and glam of other renovation shows - and producers need to exploit this.

What The Block has in expensive brass tapware and professional lighting, Changing Rooms trumps with its non-existent budget and access to hot glue guns.

Producers need to approach this show the way they do Survivor or The Bachelor and construct compelling storylines with conflict. If one homeowner wants a room that's simple and modern with neutral tones, this information needs to be communicated sensibly to the other team. Producers need to omit any mention of the word "neutral" and instead inform the opposing couple that their neighbour loves anything covered in sequins, would kill for a waterbed and has always dreamt of owning an oversized statement fish tank.

Kendall on a horse, but clothed.
Kendall on a horse, but clothed.

There are so many elements that make the show genius - the obvious one being that only one room gets a makeover which means it doesn't match the rest of the house. But the real climax hits when the homeowners take off their blindfolds to witness the big reveal and we get a close-up of their horrified face as they realise there's now AstroTurf glued to their living room wall.

Any bozo can go buy a heap of crap from Freedom and make a room look good. But only a true bozo can cut up a stranger's bedspread and use it to reupholster their couch.


Speaking of Jenner girls and being embarrassed on social media, Kendall was ripped to shreds this week after naked photos leaked online.

These weren't the regular nudie pics you get sent by strangers on Tinder - taken under fluorescent bathroom lights with toothpaste spit marks on the mirror and a toilet in the background.

Kendall would never take a photo with a toilet in the background. Her photos were chic and fancy nudes taken by photographer Russell James while doing extreme sporting activities. Risky and racy.

The leaked snap shows her sprinting naked down a beach - with shocked fellow beachgoers cropped out of frame. Other photos from the same set apparently show her naked while riding a horse and tree climbing. They were leaked by hackers but are also appearing in a book. It's all very confusing - as most stories that involve naked tree climbing often are.

But, you live and you learn. And while Kendall's probably mortified by the incident, she can take comfort in the fact there are plenty more things embarrassing than that. Like tweeting a video of Question Time synchronised to the tune of Fatman Scoop's 1999 hit Be Faithful.

Twitter and Facebook: @hellojamesweir

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