Are Danielle Bernstein’s mirror selfies legit?
Also, are one, two, or three name celebs more iconic?
Happy March! This week Hannah ponders on the power of three name celebs and Daysia lists some of her favorite pop cultural domino effects. Today, we also have an Unhinged Truther Vibes section where Daysia does her best to decipher whether influencers are fooling us all with their mirror selfies. And, as usual, we have gathered some great reads for you to peruse.
Daysia and Hannah
P.S. We’re currently scheming about the future of Pop Cult so if you have any feedback or things you want to see in the letter drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Twitter (@popcultletter).
This Week’s Fixations
What’s taking up our brain space this week?
Hannah: Something I have been thinking about for a while is the power of a name and how some names just sound like the person should be a celebrity—like it’s onomatopoeic. Something snappy like Tom Cruise or Ciara Bravo. Then of course you have the all-powerful “no last name needed”: Beyoncé, Cher, Oprah, Madonna. But something that I feel like is underrated but equally powerful is the three name celebrity, which usually involves a hyphen. Stars like Robert Downey Jr., Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anya Taylor-Joy and personal favorites of the letter, Regé-Jean Page and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (though Daysia argues that he's even more powerful due to the Roman numerals). While it seems like the extra name might be a burden, to me it adds to the weight of the star power like these people have three names for a reason. I think an underlying thing is that three names makes it all the better for abbreviation which is a whole separate thing. There is only one RDJ and it doesn’t take a lot of guesswork to figure out who JGL is. So I guess before my big break in Hollywood, I should consider adding another name.
Daysia: I’ve been pushed a lot of pop culture domino effect content this week. I think I’m a bit late to the trend, but I’m obsessed with these insane connections. Here are some of my favorite, unhinged galaxy brains:
The other thing racking my brain is a bit about mirror selfies which I elaborate on here 👇
Unhinged Truther Vibes
We’re unpacking celeb rumors, connections, and theories
Are influencer mirror selfies fake?
Listen to me. I am losing my goddamn mind over this. I feel insane!
A TikTok user named Kat posted this video claiming that influencers don’t take mirror selfies, they fake them. How would you fake a mirror selfie, you ask? You set up a camera facing you and use it to take photos of yourself holding your phone up to look like you’re taking a mirror selfie. It kind of makes sense, but I have a lot of questions. Is this true? Am I the last person to figure this out? Do all influencers do this? Why do you have to do this? What if they just have really clean mirrors or good photo editing? Let’s analyze with a game of real or fake, using the examples Kat laid out in her tok and also from other popular Instagram influencers:
As much as I wanted to believe that Miss WeWoreWhat was faking her mirror selfies, I have to believe that these are real. She has several mirror photos in the same spot in her house, often in carousels that also show a posed photo from the same spot with the furniture flipped.
Conclusion: Maybe fake???
I don’t know who this woman is, but this photo made me 👀. Through a little insta-stalking, it appears that miss thang does have a consistent home mirror that she takes pictures in. But this pic… it really does look like someone took a picture of her! The “mirror” is too perfect to be some random mirror in some studio, even if there is editing at play.
Now it would be so silly if The Blonde Salad had a fake mirror selfie photo shoot in her cluttered closet. Plus, a closet would naturally have a mirror inside of it.
Conclusion: Totally Real
Desi Perkins has taken many a photo in front of this mirror, and I’ve come to the conclusion that that’s my gauge for what is reality and what is an illusion. If an influencer takes mirror selfies in what looks like the same spot, I think it’s safe to say that there really is one there. Plus, you can see the frame every time, further convincing me that it isn’t a sham.
Verdict? I don’t think influencers are making the effort of faking mirror selfies. That energy is better applied through editing, plus I’m sure they regularly clean their mirrors for the sole purpose of having perfect Instagram posts. I do think some are questionable, specifically when it’s in a weird area or in a different spot in their home each time. It’s also simply not out of the realm of possibility for influencers to occasionally fake a mirror snap. Anything for the ‘Gram! But please don’t tell me they’re all fake because they’re clearly not!!!
Has Lorde dropped a new album?
She has not! But in personal news Hannah (re)discovered a shirt she purchased from the North America Dance leg of the 2018 Melodrama tour so catch her wearing that every other day. Excited to see what sort of merch we get from L3!
In the meantime, listen to Japanese Breakfast’s new single “Be Sweet”—a new JBrekkie era is coming!
Too Many Tabs
Our fav reads of the week
After stepping away from the spotlight due to intense online harassment, Kelly Marie Tran is back as the titular role in Raya and the Last Dragon. The actress spoke with Rebecca Sun in The Hollywood Reporter about her time away from the spotlight and what it means to back.
Despite being the driving force of critically acclaimed films, Asian performers don’t often get the recognition they deserve when awards season rolls around. For The Atlantic, Shirley Li explores this history and delves into the nuanced performances in Minari.
Anthony Mackie is finally getting his main character moment. He spoke to Variety’s Matt Donnelly about his hero’s journey.
Friend of the letter (❤️) Melinda Fakuade interviewed Tate McRae about growing up, her inspirations, her creative process, and her upcoming EP Too Young to be Sad for NYLON.
Plus… Kathryn Hahn was Agatha all along, live albums >>>, Logan Paul is done with Hollywood, looking back at Elle Woods 20 years later, the life story of Minari's matriarch, Youn Yuh-jung and what’s Armie up to now.