SARAH VINE: A plague on the airheads laughing at our lockdown

SARAH VINE: A plague on the airheads laughing at our lockdown misery from Dubai

What’s the collective noun for a ‘celebrity influencer’? A pout? A preen? A freebie? An airbrush? Any or all would do, I’d say. 

I would probably settle for a vacuum, on the basis that nothing fits the description of a space devoid of matter quite as well as this breed of glossy, self-obsessed airheads.

They were everywhere last week after the Government introduced a two-week quarantine for travellers returning from Dubai, which is the natural habitat of the common-or-garden British influencer. 

Makes sense, I suppose: Dubai is an overpriced, artificial city wholly devoid of the slightest scintilla of culture. In other words, celebrity influencer heaven.

What’s the collective noun for a ‘celebrity influencer’? A pout? A preen? A freebie? An airbrush? Any or all would do, I’d say. Pictured: 

Anyway, a number of them have found themselves stranded. 

And since the prospect of being quarantined in anything less than seven-star luxury is anathema to these professional freeloaders (the breakfast buffet at the Heathrow Travelodge might not quite meet their exacting standards), they plan to stay in Dubai for the foreseeable future. Working, apparently.

You have to admit, it’s a gruelling schedule. Lounging around in the sun, wearing bikinis, sipping cocktails. 

All that waxing and moisturising, not to mention the hours it must take to apply 72 layers of lip gloss or blow dry their tresses. And that’s just the blokes.

Quite honestly, the poor loves must be exhausted. Those frontline NHS nurses don’t know they’re born. 

Influencers were everywhere last week after the Government introduced a two-week quarantine for travellers returning from Dubai, which is the natural habitat of the common-or-garden British influencer

After all, they don’t have to live with the constant fear of waking up with a spot on their chin, or being caught with a chipped nail, do they? They can just cover it all up with PPE.

When I was growing up there was this extraordinary thing – call it ‘sanity’ – where you actually had to be something or do something useful before anyone took any notice of you, let alone started paying you for your services. 

But social media, and with it the obsession with follower numbers as a measure of success, has changed all that. Now you can earn a decent living from simply making a spectacle of yourself. The only real surprise is quite how many do.

Queen of celebrity influencers is, of course, Kim Kardashian, whose own vulgarity exemplifies the breed. But her sister, Kylie Jenner, is arguably worse. 

More from Sarah Vine For The Mail On Sunday…

Last week she caused a stir when she appeared virtually unrecognisable in the trailer for the final series of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, her face a characterless assemblage of Instagram cliches: almond-shaped eyes, high cheekbones, arched brows, plump lips. 

The fact that, having started out as a perfectly pretty girl, she now resembles a blow-up doll would be neither here nor there were she not an A-list influencer. 

She has 200 million followers on social media and a $1billion fortune largely based on selling make-up to impressionable girls desperate to emulate their idol.

Except Jenner’s look is very little to do with her products and almost everything to do with the fact that she has a face full of fillers – something she initially denied but which last year she fessed up to.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m partial to the odd bit of Botox myself, and I enjoy sharing my thoughts on social media. 

But I haven’t grown rich by pretending to be something I’m not and exploiting the insecurities of young girls and women struggling in a social media jungle where appearance is more important than ever. 

And that’s what really gets me about these influencers, and especially the motley lot holed up in Dubai, laughing at the rest of us back home in lockdown.

They’re not doing any of this for anyone else; there’s no real sense of their followers being anything other than cash cows for their own enjoyment. It’s just a bunch of people who think the world owes them a living. And will stop at nothing to get it.

Now Demi wears her Joker Face

US actress Demi Moore presents a creation of British designer Kim Jones for the Fendi’s Spring-Summer 2021 collection during the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, in Paris, on January 27

Time was when only 16-year-olds got to strut their stuff on the catwalks of Paris and Milan. 

But last week saw a roll-call of older models: Christy Turlington, 52, Naomi Campbell, 50, Farida Khelfa, 60, Demi Moore, 58, and Kate Moss, 47. 

Cynics will say it was less about the skills of the fashion designers and more about those of their respective anti-ageing gurus. 

In the case of Demi the results were a little curious – more Joker Face than classic model Poker Face. I do hope for her sake that it was just a trick of the light. 

An exercise in craziness

Pre-lockdown, I spent most of my time trying to prise my children off their screens and out into the real world. Now I find myself nagging them to do precisely the opposite.

And it doesn’t end with online schooling. The only way they can see their friends is via social media or online gaming platforms such as Minecraft and Fortnite – more hours spent staring at a screen.

Apart from what this must be doing to their brains, think of what it’s doing to their bodies. 

Britain already has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the world. 

My son used to play football three times a week, and had just started going to the gym. 

My daughter used to love the skate park. Cricket, rugby, tennis – all these things that keep young bodies active and healthy – have been shut down in the name of Covid.

An illness, let us not forget, where obesity is the second biggest morbidity factor after age.

Complete and utter madness.

The power-mad bullies in blue

West Midlands Police have apologised after a pair of officers were filmed harassing a member of the public, calling him an idiot and threatening to lock him up. 

The assumption is that they’ve been driven mad with power by the Covid regulations. But the truth is, there’s always been officers like that.

Many moons ago I was driving through London with my mother. A police car stopped us, and an officer accused me of jumping a light. I had not.

As I tried to explain this to the officer in charge, he became increasingly agitated.

He accused me of drinking (I hadn’t been) and when I passed the breathalyser test he got even more annoyed.

The more I protested my innocence, the more aggressive he got – until he eventually turned to my mother and told her: ‘If you don’t get your [expletive deleted] daughter to shut up you’ll both be spending the night in the [expletive deleted] cells.’

The vast majority of police officers are good people doing a very difficult job. But some are, I’m afraid, bullies.

At least now it’s not just their word against ours.

A 72-year-old grandfather from Staffordshire who was furloughed and banned from seeing his granddaughter has taken his own life. 

A tragic reminder that you don’t always have to catch Covid to die from it. 

I don’t know why anyone is the slightest bit surprised at Brussels’ behaviour over vaccines. 

Trying to cover up their own incompetence (failing to order enough) by making someone else pay (stealing the UK’s) is precisely their modus operandi. 

And the reason 17 million Brits voted to call it a day. 

Harry is right to travel solo to the UK for his grandmother’s birthday celebrations. With Meghan in tow, the whole thing would have been about her (when is it ever NOT about her?). 

This way he doesn’t have to worry about keeping his wife happy – and, dare I suggest, might even give the woke preaching a rest and enjoy himself a little bit. 

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