Jenner’s visual baby announcement racked up about 18 million likes in 11 months. By noon on Monday, Egg Gang had surpassed 27 million likes in less than 10 days. This is bonkers, especially when you scrutinize the photo.
This egg isn’t lounging on an exotic beach, as popular Instagram exhibitionists tend to do. This egg is not at the club or on a red carpet. This egg is not hatching. This egg is not ironically crossing the road to get to the other side.
If this photo were a song, it would be a single C-note. It’s like discovering the world record for the 100-metre dash has fallen to a reading lamp or hearing the new Miss Universe is a really sexy carrot.
The true identity of Egg Gang is unknown. But in an email, Egg Gang tells me it has one member, a fellow who lives in London. On Jan. 4, Egg Gang was skimming an article about the Top 20 Instagram posts of 2018 when inspiration struck.
“I thought it would be an interesting experiment to try and beat the record with something as basic as possible,” Egg Gang tells me. “I guess it’s also a comment on celebrity culture and how fragile and easily cracked it is …”
Indeed. In less than 10 days, Egg Gang burned every superstar in the Top 20, including Jenner, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Cristiano Ronaldo, Beyoncé, Selena Gomez and the late XXXTentacion. If Egg Gang had even 5 per cent of this sway in politics, it could replace Theresa May and solve the Brexit mess by Friday.
But the real point was never high-minded. As Egg Gang observes: “I just thought it would be funny if something as simple as an egg could take the crown.”
On Sunday, Jenner took her humiliation in stride. She posted a video in which she cracks an egg — based on the way she awkwardly separated the shell, it’s possible this was the first time — and drops it on the scorched asphalt.
But behind her oversized sunglasses, there was a glimpse of two downcast eyes.
Imagine living for fame and approval and then getting your Lycra-sheathed behind handed to you by a goddamn egg. Imagine paying an army of stylists, lighting experts, image doctors and social media gurus to help manufacture an online persona and then getting knocked down to No. 2 by a stock image.
And that’s why this little oval stunt should straighten up all celebrities.
Fame is a fickle beast. No celebrity is as popular as they believe. Social media is a funhouse in which reality is distorted and lubricated by cultural amnesia. One day, you are the Queen of Instagram. The next, you are dethroned by a one-person gang sporting domesticated fowl ovum.
We’ve already watched half an onion try and fail to get more popular than Donald Trump on Twitter. We’ve already seen a fake Bieber and a real burrito go viral. What’s next? Will Kim Kardashian get into a feud with a bag of oranges? Will a turnip thump Lady Gaga? Will Katy Perry lose followers and clout to a bagel?
On Sunday, Egg Gang started a territorial war with celebrities, one it sees as an opening salvo. Beware, celebrities, Egg Gang is just getting started.