Chrissy Teigen is quite good at being online. Through her Twitter following, she has created a brand that combines celebrity, opposition to Donald Trump, and body positivity. In the past, she’s posted photos of her stretch marks and physical imperfections, to reach out to her fans on the branch of relatability.
Teigen’s ‘period skin’ is a redness on the end of her nose. Such blemishes or changes in the skin are common side-effects of the menstrual cycle. Teigen received praise from her followers for airing out her vulnerabilities on Twitter. It’s all part of a larger societal trend toward accepting bodily functions and imperfections as facts of life. Nobody is without them.
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) July 31, 2017
Teigen uses her Twitter account for two other functions: to dunk on Donald Trump and to make relatable posts dunking on random inconveniences of life. It’s a popular brand that she’s cultivated: loose and candid expression of the frustrations that her own fans feel. This is why her Tweets garner such large coverage in American media – she speaks for her followers, and knows how to express herself and her opinions in ways that her fans will deeply empathize with. She is one of the many voices that could be said to represent millennial women’s culture.
Being sick of Donald Trump, sick of periods, and being unafraid to express those opinions resonates like bread and butter with millions of young women. Celebrities who never appear vulnerable lack Teigen’s authenticity, and that is the reason why she is so popular in contemporary culture: she has a platform which she uses to be authentic about herself.
On social media, narratives are constantly building as if from nowhere, a perpetual motion machine designed to absorb energy and largely to output negative emotion. Social media could be compared to a harvester of intellectual energy. That bread you just ate, which fueled your thoughts for a time, is poured directly into the zeitgeist, with almost no time to realize that a choice has been made. The phone is open, and its world is more vibrant and dynamic than the real world. We are simply addicted to information.
So where does Chrissy Teigen stand in this? As something of a bulwark, a recharging station for her fans online. It is an admirable place to hold, and is a space only made possible by the internet. In another age, she could have had a lifestyle column in a top magazine, but it would invariably pass through editors or end up too refined to feel genuine. On Twitter, that spark of Emersonian genius, the discovery of golden dripping ideas in real-time, and their instant transmission to the world, is made possible. Teigen’s personality is what so many brands, marketers and millions of dollars try so desperately to create: a legitimate monolith that exists on its own inside the endless tides of culture, but is not erased or swept up in the chaos.
Teigen should be proud that she’s made her life into a source of comfort for millions of people, inspiring a laugh and a nod rather than feelings of insufficiency and doubt.
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