follow us in feedly
Rich kids and poor kids of Tehran duke it out on Instagram
08:42 am

Class War
Pop Culture


One of the enduring lessons of the Internet, if not life itself, is that if you’re rich you have to take care about how you present yourself. Most people like and admire the wealthy—or at least aspire to their status—but when rich people get together to show off what they have, in virtually no time it can lead to a nexus of pride, envy, and schadenfreude that can turn into a potent brew of ressentiment. In short, rich people got to watch out, it’s super easy to come off looking like an arrogant, clueless asshole, no matter what the original intent was.

Some affluent folks in Iran recently learned this lesson. In mid-September someone started an Instagram account called Rich Kids in Tehran showing wealthy young people posing in luxurious hotels, next to expensive cars, and dolled up in designer duds. In just three weeks, the account caught a little positive attention and blew up to 50,000 followers (it currently has more than 95,000 followers).

As The Daily Beast reported, the site quickly sparked a backlash, despite the purportedly innocent intentions of the Instagram’s creators. As one of the managers of the account wrote, “We are trying to show the good side of Tehran/Iran to the whole world. Iran is always in the news regarding negative things and we are not interested in that. We are just trying to show what they don’t show in the news channels.” There was no shortage of tut-tutting, for instance from Iranian-American author Firoozeh Dumas (Funny in Farsi) who objected to the sensationalization of “a slice of materialistic, shallow and downright embarrassing Iranian culture. I just want to shout, ‘We are not all like that!’”

Some clever person in Iran decided that the best way to fight back was through satire. On October 5 a new Instagram account called Poor Kids in Tehran materialized, showing the bitter reality behind the facade of all of the luxurious escapades the rich kids were enjoying. The account takes a deadpan approach; most of the images are more about squalor than actual want.

Rich Kids of Tehran may shrug off any accusations of ill intent, but they must be feeling more than a little defensive. The following message appeared on the Rich Kids’ Instagram yesterday:

We Love our city of Tehran. We are in no way trying to put a difference between rich and poor. We are trying to show the world how beautiful Tehran and people from Tehran are. The Middle East is always on TV receiving negative attention and we just wanted to show that Tehran is not like that. This page is in no way political and we never had any bad intentions. We never thought the page would make headlines all over the world. Some of the people featured in this Instagram account don’t live in Iran.

I’ve curated a little gallery of images from the two Instagram accounts. See if you can tell which ones came from which account—they’re all from the most recent images, so you can easily check your work.










via Vocativ

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Fire up Photoshop—I found the worst couple on Instagram
08:03 am



Usually, I’m pretty forgiving of social media gaucherie. I’m off Facebook, which certainly helps, but when it comes to Twitter or Instagram, I figure it’s your account, post whatever you want—no one’s forcing me to look at it. People take such personal offense to someone taking a million pictures of their cats/children/food/selves, but they’re going through their own lives—what right have we to demand entertainment or intellectual stimulation from them? We could so easily unfollow if we don’t like what they post.

But I have recently found my breaking point.

You may remember a post I wrote a little while ago on Kara Walker’s giant sculpture of a sugary sphinx. The piece is a gargantuan sphinx coated in sugar, invoking racist “Mammy” imagery of a black woman, and Walker (who yes, is black) is well-known for her use of uncomfortable racial and sexual iconography.

I get that we live in incredibly vulgar times, but Jesus Christ on a Goddamn Pony, you don’t have the presence of mind not to suck face in front of obviously slavery-themed art?

Their Instagram, called “kissmeeverywhere,” is nothing but 642 pictures of them kissing—a monument to performative affections. The description of their profile reads, “Why should we stop kissing? if it’s the best way to remember why we are together.” I’ll give them this, I think that’s probably an accurate statement, since both these people probably require constant reminding that other people exist, including their significant other.

So let’s get some Photoshops going! I picture the lamprey-lovebirds at the base of of the “The Sculpture of Love and Anguish.” Or maybe locking lips in front of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial? There’s a lovely arch along The Trail of Tears, and I hear there are some truly scenic ex-gulags in the former USSR. Let’s get creative!


Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment