Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Book Review | Open Access

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

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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



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