An Influential Morning
By Leah Bhabha
1. Arise to buzzing from your palm. Ah, there it is, your glowing rectangular portal comfortably nestled in one hand. Turn off the Meditation app that’s lulled you to sleep while wiping the drool off your face with the other. Influencers do not drool. Maybe your sleep tracker has something to tell you? That bump in your REM must have been from your Outdoor Voices sample sale dream! From your lavender-scented, high-thread-count sprawl throne and direct to consumer mattress, gloat over the notifications that have arrived overnight. Savor them.
2. Scroll, scroll, scroll to see how your followers have been faring in your nighttime absence. Diffuse an argument between two loyal disciples: @yasssslaygirl and @wanderlustchickforever that has sprouted from the comments section from last night’s quinoa post. Tag them both in a comment that says “live laugh love, sisters! [two hearts emoji] [butterfly emoji]”—the butterfly emoji is your signature. When that beauty blogger tried to start using it as hersignaturemoji your #squad shut.it.down. Your squad is the best.
3. Do some oil pulling—according to Gwyneth, swilling coconut oil in your mouth rids it of toxins, and toxins are, like, not chill. Gag slightly, then brush your teeth and cleanse your face. Not wash, cleanse. Use your first serum of the day. Hyaluronic acid is so dope. Risk deluging your phone in water so you can take pics and video each step to add to your story later. Apply moisturizer and a simple no-makeup look of primer, concealer, foundation, bronzer, a little highlighter, some vegan lip gloss, and a simple organic lip pencil. Oh, and brush your brows. Always keep your #browgame strong.
4. Toss the ratty free t-shirt you slept in on the ground, and slip on your new #sponsored silk pajamas—they monogrammed them, so cute! Slide back into the lavender abyss for a couple of test selfies. #wokeuplikethis #ootd #ooo #otphj? Okay, your pores look tiny. It must have been that placenta-collagen-ylang-ylang-swan blood mask from last night! Remember to mention the mask or is it masque? Be aspirational. Clear your throat and practice a couple of husky “heyyyyy my lovessss.” Remember to draw that last “s” out—they always do that in yoga class and you’ve found it really centering. Think of a quote for the morning. You always start with a quote. They need a quote. Google “mindfulness quotes” for a while. Time to lean inand take care of business. Google Analytics shows your follower stat is up ten percent from last week. Peruse your inbox and manage to consciously uncouple yourself from subject headings that include the words “final notice”, “late”, “rent”, “payment”, and “due.” You definitely can’t have that negative energy blocking your chakras today!
5. Turn on a little Haim, then check in with your followers and bid them good morning from your bed. They need to see you. Tell them to be mindful today and share the quote that you found. They depend on you for this. Ignore the texts from your mom demanding to know why you’ve posted seventeen Instagrams in the last week but won’t return her calls. Ugh, mom is soextra.
6. As you saunter over to the Vitamix you got for free—can you sell it used to pay rent? [thinking emoji]—avoid the swag bags crowding the floor from yesterday’s influencer gathering. Remember that bitch that tried to elbow you out of your picture, a picture with Chrissy Teigen’s mom. Make a mental note to unfollow that bitch. Consider which #spon posts will make it into the rotation from these bags for tomorrow’s post.
7. Clear any detritus from your kitchen area, which is next to your bed area. Position your kale, flax seeds, celery, açai, and #branded protein powder artfully. This may take many minutes, but your #instasquad will want to see it. Even though you used to put mango and banana in your smoothies, you now know that fruit is not healthy. It’s all sugar. Influencers don’t eat sugar.
8. Pack everything into the blender and try a few angles before you start blending. Okay, this one—perched high on a stool with one foot precariously on the counter—works.
9. Position your phone and tap the blender button to start it. Angles are everything. Keep snapping, the shot’s not right. Change up the lighting, then return to your position on the stool.
10. Narrowly avoid dropping your iPhone X and its marbled “keep calm and be a unicorn” case into the blender, then pour your burbling green mixture into a mason jar. Pretend it doesn’t smell like farts.
11. Turn on the “live” function, then delicately take a sip—trying to hold back your gag—and tell your followers, with your cute, foaming green mustache, how you’ve just inhaled some serious rejuvenation. Expound on how happy your gut will be.
12. Thank god, that’s over. Dump the AstroTurf-hued sludge, it’s time for your real breakfast. Sausage patty, plasticky cheese— it’s time and no one’s watching.
13. Hastily unwrap the frozen breakfast sandwich and feel your mouth water while it microwaves, banishing the flax seeds from your memory as you think of sweet, meaty, release.
14. No time for ketchup. Ecstasy. Smoothie bowls, acai bowls, grain bowls, dragon bowls—no bowl will ever compare to….
15. Wait…why is your phone buzzing more uncontrollably than usual? Remember when thirty comments or a #regram would make your week? Those days are, like, over af. Now the #wellnessarmy stans for you. They must have liked the smooth-oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck. It’s been recording this whole time…LIVE.
16. You’ve barely swallowed down that porky ambrosia and you’re getting angry sponsor calls, hateful ones. ChicColonix no longer wants your representation. Açai2behold has pulled the ads you’ve spent the last month on. The fans, the #fam, your squad. Gwyneth Paltrow’s #gooptroop is probably rolling over in their cryogenic vagina steamers. It’s over.
17. Have another sausage patty; you’re no longer influential.
Leah Bhabha is a writer and recent MFA graduate living and working in New York. She has co-authored cookbooks and written for publications including Vogue, New York Magazine, and Food & Wine. She spends much of her time considering and embracing the unbridled joys of eating. She is currently working on a series of non-fiction essays. You can find her at leahbhabha.com or @leahbhabha on Instagram.
Photo by ian dooley