Why Are All These Influencers Standing in the Middle of the Street?

Cartier's holiday decorations at 52nd and Fifth
Cartier Fifth Avenue. Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Live in New York long enough, and you can become quickly desensitized to everything that makes everyone else fall in love with the city. (If you need a crash course on falling back in love, consider this your couple’s therapy.) If you didn’t spend this past weekend inside avoiding the rain and the tourists that appear in droves at this time of year, you probably noticed that basically every building and city street corner is decorated festively for the holidays. This is one of the things that makes the city special — it really goes all out in December. Perhaps you also noticed that all of those tourists really, really love those festive decorations.

But no one loves the decorations like the bloggers love the decorations. Oh! The bloggers, who delight in New York and all of its charms approximately 75 percent more than your average person, and have the ability to hone in on a location’s Instagrammability the way a hawk would its prey. Their newest target? The Cartier store at the corner of 52nd street and Fifth Avenue, which is wrapped up in a big red bow every holiday season like the ultimate jackpot from “Santa Baby.”

Watch them in action, courtesy of blogger Dani Austin’s Instagram Stories, preserved for eternity by The Atlantic’s Taylor Lorenz. While ostensibly waiting her turn for a photo, she documented at least three separate bloggers stepping into a busy intersection to pose for their photographers. Make no mistake: When you have more than 100,000 followers, handing your phone to some random passerby won’t do. Getting this content is a job, and photographers’ careers can be sustained by helping an intrepid influencer land the #OOTD shot.

Lest ye judge, I invite you to think about how hard it is to get a good photo that maximizes Instagram likes. Are any of your friends up to the task? Are they the kind of person to take one photo and hand your phone back to you, thinking that will suffice? (It will not.) Or will they find your angles, move the camera, and tell you what to do with your hands? Will they know how to compose the shot so that the folks at home have no idea there were seven other people doing the exact same thing, two feet from where your photo was taken?

Game recognize game, TBH. All I want for Christmas is an Instagram boyfriend.

Why Are All These Influencers Standing in the Street?