“Fake Famous” and the Tedium of Influencer Culture

These people have come to L.A., he explains, not to break from the hustle of everyday life, by relaxing and “taking in the sparkle of Tinseltown.” Rather, they are there to continue the hustle. The pink wall—which, functionally speaking, serves to hold up the Paul Smith clothing boutique on Melrose Avenue—has become one of the world’s top tourist destinations; it’s an eye-catching but blank-enough canvas for those who pose in front of it, and who later post the results to Instagram.

Those people, Bilton says, are looking for “likes, which translates to more followers, which is the current currency of the most important thing on earth today—what everyone seems to be obsessed with. They want to be famous.”