The reason Byron's mummy bloggers are driving us mad
BYRON Bay's Mummy Bloggers of Instagram have barely had their 15 minutes of fame but, for some people, they've already worn out their welcome.
Vanity Fair magazine recently wrote an extended article about them and other media, and everyone else, have since piled on for a kick.
But before we pile on, let's meet Andy Warhol, who in the 1960s defined the essentials of what decades later would become Facebook and Instagram.
He also came up with that deceptively simple phrase: "In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes."
Andy used to haunt the parties of the rich and famous, taking deceptively bland Polaroid pictures, that he used in his art works and in his magazine Interview.
One could become a celebrity simply by being in one of Andy's pictures.
Little did we know that Andy's idea of 15 minutes of fame, once harnessed to the God-like algorithms of Google, Facebook and Instagram, would define our age.
An age where consumerism and triviality have been raised to an art form, an ethos and an economic model to live by.
Here and now fame (and sometimes a person's notion of self worth) is detached from accomplishment.
These days you are lucky to be famous for as long as it takes to scroll past your Instagram post, let alone for 15 minutes.
Which brings us to Byron Bay's Mummy Bloggers, sometimes called Micro Influencers, or as I am hereby christening them the Mummy Floggers.
Mummy Floggers are often trying to flog you something.
But as annoying as this group of people appear to be, they are merely the latest technique marketing companies us in the age old trick of making women (and increasingly men) feel insecure about the way they live or look and then selling them the so-called solution.
Depending on which particular brand the Flogger is aligned with, the solution could be a $10,000 kitchen counter top, faux bohemian frocks or an activated nut based hair shampoo that gives you the luxurious locks you had when you were a princess in a previous life.
The attack on these local Floggers is fuelled by the suspicion by some people they are just rich, white and privileged.
This suspicion could be well founded because it costs an absolute fortune to live like a barefoot peasant in Byron Bay, darling.
There is also a deeper and darker question about the appropriateness of offering up your children as accessories on your Instagram posts.
And so to brand Byron Bay -- a community which is ground zero for smashed avocado, anti-vaxxer stupidity and the carefully curated pothole.
Here in Byron it can sometimes feel like you are living inside Instagram.
Even before Instagram came along, Byron was a byword for Nirvana -- the sun bleached dreamy hippy surf lifestyle you never had but desperately want now you are a cashed up forty-something or living on the family trust.
For years brands have been trying to associate themselves with the Byron ethos which makes Instagram and Byron Bay a match made in marketing heaven.
The essence of Byron Nirvana (#byron_nirvana) has persisted even as the insane real estate prices drove long time locals out, Airbnb hoovered up all the available rentals and the 2.5 million tourist arrived and started stomping our infrastructure into the ground.
Marketing has always relied on fakery, envy and wish fulfillment. Lately marketing has been Chernobylised by the explosion of Facebook and Instagram.
Byron Bay as marketing hashtag is a great way to flog stuff to people which has delivered us the Byron Mummy Flogger.
But many of them will be gone in about 15 minutes.
Finally, I couldn't help noticing the original story that set out to both debunk and celebrate this particular group of Byron Mummy Floggers appeared in Vanity Fair magazine.
Vanity Fair itself is an ultra high end publication full of adverts for brands like Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Chanel aimed at privileged, mostly white super rich people who could afford to buy a couple of designer shacks at Wategos Beach.
Andy Warhol would love the irony. He invented it.