(Not) Very Important People: Millennial Fantasies of Mobility in the Age of Excess

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Book Review | Open Access | Ahead of Print | Last Modified: 7 January 2022

(Not) Very Important People: Millennial Fantasies of Mobility in the Age of Excess

  • Susan Hopkins USQ College, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

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Abstract:  In her fascinating but frustrating new book, Very Important People: Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit, American sociologist, Ashley Mears (2020) offers both academic and mainstream readers a titillating, cross-over tour around the “cool” nightclub and party scene of the “global elite.” It is perhaps not so much global, however, as American, in the sense of the heteropatriarchal, middle-aged, male, working rich of America (or more precisely of its financial capital New York), jetting into their traditional party hotspots of Miami, Saint-Tropez, or the French Riviera, to party with young women who are (indirectly) paid (in-kind) to pose with them. Whether intentional or unintentional, along the way Mears also offers a dark mirror to the fears and fantasies of a rather lost millennial generation, raised in a new media, image age, which has coupled fast and furious performative excess to old fashioned sexual objectification, in the guise of fun and empowerment for the beautiful people.

Keywords:  beauty capital; ethnography; fashion models; global elites; hustle culture

Published:   Ahead of Print

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v10i1.4778

© Susan Hopkins. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.