Daisy Alioto on following Cher’s best friend on Instagram.
According to TikTok, the fashion girlies and a finger I just licked and held up to the wind, INDIE SLEAZE IS BACK. If you need a refresher, read this from Dazed or scroll @indiesleaze for a trip down finger mustache lane.
Everyone talks about MySpace, Sky Ferreira, and American Apparel but the real legacy of the era was performative celebrity friendship. Of course, friendship as currency is as old as Caesar but the technologies that turned us all into Paparazzi (2009) also brought us Paris and Nicole and, later, Paris’s “best friend” Kim who in turn brought us a Rube Goldberg machine of social climbing ending with innocent bystander Jordyn Woods on Red Table Talk.
If you haven’t read this legendary 2020 Twitter thread about “the It Girl War of the Early 2000’s” I strongly suggest you do. I think we can draw a direct line between Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears photographed in the same car and Taylor Swift’s 2015 fourth of July party.
Although the former was a true paparazzi pic, the internet supplied the constant stream of meta commentary previously missing from public “friendships.” It’s now easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of that meta commentary.
Which is why Paulette Howell is my favorite person to follow on Instagram. She’s a fun-loving lady who is passionate about her family and the beach… and she just happens to be best friends with Cher. In between pool selfies, white wine and peonies are personal photos from their years together–images with the sheen of plastic album sheets rather than the watermark of Getty Images.
“One of my fave throwbacks 1973….my first time returning to Hawaii after living there w my surfer boyfriend. I had known #cher only 6 months and she had recently left Sonny. I took her to the North Shore (where i lived) and introduced her to my friends. Shout out for the boom box,” is the caption on a snap of them disembarking an airplane.
In a birthday post for Cher’s half sister Georganne Lapiere she writes, “We all basically grew up together….Cheralina was already a huge star but it didn’t matter- we were just 3 girls finding our way.” What you see is what you get.
In the course of writing this, I was shocked to find out I don’t actually follow Cher on Instagram. Instead, she only crosses my feed through the lens of the person that loves her most, her actual best friend. The indie sleaze era introduced us to the era of fake friends, and reproduced the surveillant gaze of a social climber across our individual feeds. In a world full of [redacted], be a Pauly. — by Daisy Alioto