I met an Instagram Influencer IRL. It was Traumatizing.

We don’t know anything about the people we follow online.

Taylor B.
3 min readFeb 28, 2022
Photo by Jamar Crable on Unsplash

In 2017, I used to follow Trixie*, a popular Instagram influencer with thousands of followers. I followed her because she attended high school with one of my friends*.

Online, Trixie appears to have it all. She travels the world and goes on lavish vacations, she wears designer clothes, she drives an expensive car, and she is always dining at the finest restaurants.

Not only is Trixie an influencer, but she is also a writer, something I have always dreamed of being. She writes books about love and relationships. She presents herself as a kind and compassionate person.

She also graduated from one of the most prestigious universities in the country.

At the time, I envied her.

When our mutual friend offered to introduce us to each other, I was ecstatic. I looked forward to asking her questions about how to be successful like her.

The Meeting

Our mutual friend invited us both to a popular vegan restaurant in our city. Our friend reserved a table for the 3 of us.

Photo by Matthieu Joannon on Unsplash

My friend and I arrived first. Trixie arrived 30 minutes later. She stomped towards our table with her arms crossed and a growling expression on her face.

She plunked herself down at the table and sat next to our mutual friend and across from me. Trixie ignored my presence and immediately began complaining to our friend about her minimum-wage job.

I thought to myself: Instagram influencers have regular jobs? I thought the whole point of being an influencer was so that you didn’t have to work?

Without looking in my direction, Trixie went on a long tirade about how much she hated her co-workers. She began making inflammatory racist remarks about her co-workers. From her perfectly plump and lip-glossed mouth, emerged some of the ugliest words I have ever heard.

I was stunned. I looked at my friend, who was enraptured in Trixie’s story. My friend even agreed with her. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. I excused myself and went to the restroom, although I don’t think Trixie or my friend noticed I had left.

When I returned to the table, Trixie now had a glass of wine in her hand and was on a new rant about wanting to marry a rich man. When speaking about finding a future partner, Trixie never once mentioned the word “love”. She only spoke of money.

I was extremely uncomfortable the rest of the evening. I regretted, and still regret to this day, not calling out Trixie on her racist behavior. After seeing Trixie for who she really was, I just wanted the night to end, but Trixie continued blabbering on.

After about an hour of listening to Trixie talk incessantly about herself, I decided to pay for my food and get the hell out of there. When I got up to leave, my friend shot me a dirty look and was irritated that I left early.

Through my brief experience with Trixie, I learned several things about her:

  • Her lifestyle is funded by credit cards.
  • She still lives with her parents.
  • She never finished high school.
  • She never graduated from the top-tier university she claims to (she never even attended college).
  • She has never been in a serious relationship.
  • Her books are self-published on Amazon (I have nothing against self-published books, but the way she presents herself online, you would think she’s the next Nicholas Sparks).

Trixie still has a perfectly curated Instagram profile that presents the image of a millionaire heiress. She’s still selling books about love and she’s still pretending to care about social justice.

*Not her real name.

*I am no longer friends with our mutual friend.



Taylor B.

I write about women's history and issues that impact women.