Welcome to another installment of Shrimp & Grids, the column where we dissect the meals of Instagram’s most followed. Why would we subject ourselves to such scrolling? Because whether we like it or not, the influencer economy is shaping what we buy, wear and yes, eat. Let’s dig in!
What a time to be Addison Rae! For the uninitiated, Rae is the second most-followed person on TikTok, where she posts dancing videos, with 78 million followers. Forbes estimates she’s the highest earner on the platform. In March, she was the subject of some controversy when she performed a series of TikTok dances on The Tonight Show without crediting the dances’ creators, many of whom are Black. (She’s since apologized.) That same month, she released her debut single, “Obsessed,” which brings us to the subject of this blurb: pizza.
In this Instagram post, Rae sits on a bed with two heart-shaped pizzas, one reading “Addison” and the other, “Obsessed.” They look like standard margherita pizzas—and the words are spelled out in cheese? Cannot confirm. In any case, one pizza pro went to bat for the pies’ creator in Addison’s comments: “former chef here, it’s pretty hard to make food words that actually look good when they come out of the oven.” We stan a talented pizza calligrapher!
Are we influenced? Technically, yes! I listened to “Obsessed.” I was not obsessed! But who knows, maybe in three months I will be.
Has anyone ever looked hornier next to a heaping pile of pasta? Here’s fashion influencer/socialite Olivia Palermo and her husband, German model Johannes Huebl, apparently in Barcelona (according to the geotag). They’re enjoying what looks like spaghetti with tomato sauce, you know, classic Spanish fare. For some reason, I can’t stop staring at this photo. I think it’s the way that Olivia’s body is contorted — she looks like she’s sliding off the chair? She looks like an optical illusion. This cannot be comfortable.
But more shocking to me is the states of Johannes’ pasta. Zoom in, if you dare. You’ll see a pile of bare noodles topped with a heap of tomato sauce, wholly unmixed. What the hell kind of restaurant serves unmixed pasta and sauce? This looks like Friday night at your newly divorced dad’s house. At least Olivia had the decency to mix hers up before the photo shoot. I can just imagine the noodles getting cold, congealing, as Olivia contorts her legs into a perfect pretzel. “Just a moment more, mi amor,” she purrs. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, the chef cracks open another room temperature vat of Ragu.
Are we influenced? No one could be hot enough to make me eat pasta like that. No one.
In case you’re wondering how sexual harassment allegations “ruin men’s lives”: Shaun White is now the KRAVE Jerky ambassador! The three-time Olympic gold medal winner has teamed up with the Sonoma-based meat brand as “an Investor, Advisor, and Global Brand Ambassador.” Unclear what that means, exactly, but apparently White and beef jerky are a hot new item—expect to see more of these two all over Instagram together. It’s the latest in the long, rich American athletic tradition of Olympians selling us stuff. Move over, Wheaties box. The era of the “Global Brand Ambassador” is upon us.
White was the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit in 2016, news of which surfaced during the 2018 PyeongChang games. (It was settled out of court in 2017.) KRAVE likely hopes we’ve all forgotten about this—and, to be fair, we don’t know the actual details of what happened between White and his accuser. Still, with one of the most disliked guys in sports as the face of KRAVE, Shaun White really puts the jerk in beef jerky.
Are we influenced? Man, the thing is, I did really like KRAVE Jerky. Sigh.