Can anyone become the new Kravis? I posted like a celebrity couple to find out
Photo: left – author’s own, right – courtesy of Kourtney Kardashian Instagram
Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker (affectionately referred to as Kravis) and Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox have ushered in a new wave of lopsided love posts. In doing so, they rewrote the rules online decorum in a matter of months.
Before Kravis, the internet was primarily a place to encourage and promote singles to publicly live their best lives. Mirror selfie traps, late night DM slides and flame emojis are all examples of the choking singles have had on the internet over the past decade.. If you were a cool couple, you were low-key and low-key – for example Hailey and Justin Bieber, who appear to come out of church.
But this year everything has changed. In an interview for GQ, Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly revealed their first kiss were they breathing right in front of each other’s lips. Soon after, they were pictured alongside Kravis getting together in a toilet cubicle to VMAs. For the first time since Tom Hiddleston wore an ‘I <3 TS' T-shirt, the grinding couple is back. And all the things you’re not supposed to do – matching tattoos, selfies of biting someone’s thumb, or getting horny on the main – are now cool.
But what does this mean for people like me, who are generally uncomfortable with displays of affection on the Internet? If I start posting enough connections, could I become half of the next sensational couple, or is that a rule for sexy celebrities and another for non-famous people who live sixteen inches in their uncovered? Can I have a “cute day with this one” for having as much goodwill as Megan Fox in calling her 31 year old pop punk boyfriend and father of one, “daddy”?
To find out for sure, I posted like a celebrity couple on Instagram – checking out how my friends would feel, and how I would feel doing it, over the course of a week.
Day 1: Soft launch with grip
I decided to start the light and copy the image of the grip that started Kravis’ relationship. Also: my boyfriend said the investigation was too embarrassing and he didn’t want to be introduced.
I took several pictures while I was having dinner and they all looked shitty. Why do the hands look so cursed when intertwined?
The next day I tried again and suddenly realized it would be a lot harder than I thought. The result was several unusable images, including one that I downloaded anyway.
He got 29 likes – not bad. My friends, who support me endlessly no matter what I do, have all said that my nails are beautiful. However, one also told me privately that she thought I was down because the position “wasn’t very you”.
Day 2: Full on posting nerdy couples
This time I was determined to make it seem like I was on a date and prove to my followers that it is actually “really me” and not a “cry for help”..
I tried the hand-held photo shoot again. Reinforced by alcohol, I took photo after photo and to my delight they started to take a closer look at something that might help whip up a few SHEIN articles.
My fingernails were chipped but the composition was correct. The next day I downloaded it under the caption “message from a couple of cheeses”. This one got about sixty likes – hello the brand’s offers!
During a debriefing with my boyfriend, I realized that people are willing to approve of signs of love online, but they won’t if it is objectively just a picture. grotesque. Fair enough.
Day 3: Photos that will never be able to go on the internet
Halfway through the survey, it was my birthday, so naturally I thought: how could I mine it for content?
My friends had planned a night out and we found an Airbnb with a hot tub outside months ago. It was like the perfect setting for a grinding couple photoshoot. Or so I thought …
We took the photos after a lot of drinks, and when I checked them the next day, they weren’t what I thought they would be. My friend used the word “lousy” and I agree. The hot tub had a color changing feature which along with the fact that it is a hot tub made the photos very sexual.
There’s no way it’s happening on my Instagram or in a song. I live in fear that they will be disclosed even now. Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly and Kravis are horny online but never really stray from ‘Berghain piss room’ territory.
Day 4: GQ coverage
To bounce back from yesterday’s setback I had to leave bigger. It was time to replicate the front cover of Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly GQ – the moment that started the internet’s obsession with their relationship. While Megan Fox is almost completely naked, I opted for a cropped top and jeans and also traded her gun for a Playstation controller.
My boyfriend reluctantly agreed to be in the photo and opted for a classic hand-to-face gesture.
The best thing about their shoot for GQ magazine was the lopsided caption Megan Fox used when she shared it, so I tried to put my own “London Romantic on a Budget” spin on it.
Day 5: Blurry shot in the hallway
About 50% of Kravis’ couple photos are out of focus in the hallways. I do not know why. Either way, it turns out that smartphones are now designed to stop shoddy photos even if you try. My roommate took 20 photos and even rocked the camera to get the final result.
While Kourtney went for the caption “what’s happening in Las Vegas”, I went for the very different “what’s going on in London”. She got 3 million likes against my 36. Obviously, the masses don’t appreciate the transplant.
Day 6: So random, I’m engaged x
There was only one way to end this journey: engaged!
All week long, the anticipation of a false engagement boiled in my stomach. It was too far, but also fair.
With the help of my roommate, my boyfriend and I took a version of Kravis’ engagement message where they are surrounded by flowers on the beach. My attempt took place at the local park in a bandstand.
I didn’t have any jewelry that looked like Kourtney’s million dollar ring, so I took a pic on Pinterest and passed it off as my own hand.
A lot of people I haven’t spoken to in years liked the photo, which was nice. A few friends said I had given them a heart attack and were discussing whether I was really engaged – a sign that the post was a success IMO.
Despite being posted on a Wednesday morning, the post received 40 likes in an hour. The high school people congratulated me. I would be lying if I said I didn’t get drunk while checking out. This must be what Kravis feels every day.
Day 7: Rest and reflections
Being a popular cringe is actually really difficult.
Turns out, it’s really hard to get an aesthetically pleasing shot without a paid professional photographer as your entourage. And, while my posts got more likes than I expected (thanks, no irony poisoned friends I haven’t seen since high school!), I failed to strike a deal with Moet and Chandon. Sad.
One positive realization was that people accept sincere declarations of love much more than I initially imagined. This survey was a good reminder that true friends will love anything you share or do online, no matter how out of character it is. One of my best friends was really shocked that my posts were for one track and said, “I thought you were just having a love rebirth!” “. Another said that the whole week felt like I was “tossing a sweet bride.”
The idea of sharing emotions online was initially terrifying. As a fairly repressed person who increasingly stopped posting on social media out of fear of judgment, this week was tantamount to exposure therapy. The whole process felt like incinerating my social media presence, but it quickly became clear that nothing bad happens if you post weird stuff online. To liberate knowledge, in a way.
On the other hand, being a couple on social media has taken a toll on my relationship. Every evening meal has become a photo shoot; every intimate moment was interrupted by “are we going to get a picture of this?” My boyfriend was a good athlete but was clearly losing patience at the end of the experience.
So if you are thinking of becoming an incredibly powerful couple, go for it. Just know that it suddenly becomes your job to go on dates and your boyfriend will hate every minute and dream of running away.