By Guy Somerset
Once upon a time in Ancient Greece lived a man named Tithonus. He was son of the King of Troy on one side and of a Daughter of the River on the other. Thus, needless to say, he was considered the proverbial "good catch" by all the ladies.
None more did Tithonus attract than Eros (also known as Aurora), Goddess of the Dawn. She fell hard and whisked him off to a distant land where she born him two sons. So happy were they that Eros entreated Zeus himself to grant Tithonus eternal life so they might always remain together.
In this the king of the Greek gods consented. Lamentably, Eros had neglected to ensure that her lover furthermore be given everlasting youth as well. As a result, in time Tithonus withered and aged while his once devoted partner flitted on to other men and assorted sordid affairs.
From Tithonus to the Contemporary
We have all seen them - that legion of girls excitedly tapping on telephones, ever so preoccupied with documenting their allegedly fabulous lives as they entirely neglect to live them. They sit each agog, dazzled by the digital haze, in whatever venue - whether it be a bar, museum or symphony - relentlessly fixated on their diminutive screens while endlessly searching for the validation not even 100,000 followers can bring.
The Instagram Girls are engaged in a morbid documentation of their ephemeral lives while hoping against hope to garner immortality. It is an "ephemortality," in which the mundane incidents of their glamorously dreary animations are duly cataloged and recorded for an uncaring eternity.
Though they universally refer to themselves as "models," most legitimate agencies would never touch a one of them. The passably intelligent girls (that is, marginally literate) claim to be "content creators" even as the most thought provoking thing they have ever written consists of less than 140 characters on Twitter. All of them assume everything they do, at all times, is worthy of memorializing for the ages.
Admittedly, some of these wayward creatures do manage to break out from the monotonous multitudes. Unfortunately, they do so generally for all the wrong reasons.
Collective Comedy Begins with Individual Tragedy
Several years ago a young friend of mine breathlessly confided to me concerning a girl he had recently met through the internet and with whom he was quite smitten. For weeks the boy raved concerning her great beauty - Indeed! She was the loveliest woman alive! In the world! Of all time!
Having some acquaintance myself of Russian females I was more than a little skeptical this youngster had managed to locate the quintessence of attraction, and online no less. Eventually he shared a photo and I must confess he was correct - She was in fact the most physically perfect woman I have ever seen.
The object of his affection was then around twenty years of age, from one of the smaller villages of Ukraine and had every charm which can be envisioned. Her raven hair was lustrous, her eyes limpid, her face divine and her body...inspired musings less heavenly to say the least. She was something of a cross between the Venus de Milo and Emma Hamilton (the one Horatio Nelson threw over an Empire to bed).
Given the exigencies of existence, my comrade could not rush to be with his paramour quite so soon as he would have preferred. Always a mistake, in this case hesitation proved to be disastrous. What began with the delay of a few months stretched into a year or more - by which time the infernal application known as Instagram had been invented.
Though the lovers eventually drifted apart my friend did maintain a sporting interest in this girl which was aided by the constant selfies, content and assorted updates which filled the need for her feed. When at last I came around to inquiring at a much later date whatever had happened to this beauty he said nothing but glumly showed me her latest photos - and they were ghastly.
A fresh maiden of surpassing splendor had devolved in only a few years to a tart who dressed provocatively and had so many cosmetic procedures I at first questioned whether the boy was having a laugh at my expense. Sadly, the joke had been on us both...as well as her though she did not know it.
The formerly dazzling sparkle in those eyes of that subject had dimmed to the dead emptiness shared by all such types. Her body remained fit though somehow seemed unnatural. Perhaps it was a consequence of the nauseating operations she had performed on her face: lips plumped out in a grotesque caricature of allure, cheeks injected by one toxin or another until it seemed two halves of grapefruit lie beneath, eyebrow liner so thick she resembled less a young Cleopatra than a Circus Clown all while completing her look with a multitude of assorted fillers that caused one to pause at the emptiness of her soul.
While this particular epitome was all the more tragic due to having been literally one of the most ideal humans on the planet, she was actually emblematic of an entire generation. Most upsetting, though with even minimal care such a paragon might have remained an absolutely gorgeous girl well into her late-40s she had instead become a haggard and repulsive old woman at barely the age of 22.
Lamentably, this is not a cautionary tale so much as a common one.
The Death of Modesty Sometimes Ends in Actual Death
Although it is cliché to say there are fates worse than death, sometimes the shenanigans of the Instagram Girls end in actual death. More than a few have been so fixated on establishing their niche they ended up in a ditch at the side of the road...or under a mountain...
Automobile accidents are a common method of demise for these models of modesty. One was Russian Natalia Borodina, who while holidaying in the Dominican Republic thought it would be a clever snap to hang topless out of a speeding car. Unfortunately, neither the friend who was driving nor Borodina noticed the sign at the side of the road which hit her in the head and killed her.
Somewhat similarly was the case of Ukrainian Sofia Magerko. She was another Instagram Girl who decided an automobile was the best place to film her goings-on. The beauty queen and a companion were driving drunk, swigging from wine bottles and giving shout-outs to boys in the moments before they drove head-first into a lamppost. One died on scene, the other at the hospital.
Cars are not the only means by which Instagram Girls meet bad ends. Olga Pronina was known as the sexiest biker in Russia. She frequently filmed her exploits and shared them with her abundant audience. The woman was credited for her love of speed, her glamourous lifestyle and also her reputation for breaking the rules. Unfortunately, the rules usually have a reason. Pronina died in a collision at high speeds while wearing only a helmet but no other protective equipment.
Lately another Instagram Girl was killed in a fall from a mountain. Known as The Bikini Hiker, a Taiwanese Gigi Wu often posted her exploits to the social media website. During a climb earlier this month Wu accidentally fell while on a solitary excursion and froze to death. All for the glory of viewers.
The Unholy Alliance - Designer Clothing and Luxury Purses in Exchange For...Less Tangible Assets
Superyachts: Audition for iniquity. Sinead McNamara was another Instagram Girl who thought the high life could come at a cheap price. From most accounts she was a generally likeable youngster. That is, before getting herself killed - or "suicided" - depending on how naïve a person happens to be.
Sinead was one of those glorious girls showing off her best assets when she took a job on the crew of the yacht of a Billionaire. Then came some sightseeing, afterward came some relationships, finally came some tears. In fact, the last anyone back home in Australia heard of her she was weeping on the telephone. Later she was found dead.
The phenomena of "yacht girls" is fairly well-known from Cannes to Canberra though to the uninitiated it should be stated - they are generally a "pay for play" situational. Pretty girls never actually sign a contract to sleep with the wealthy benefactors though it is clear what is expected from both parties.
Of course, clearly this Instagram Girl was not prostituting herself to a wealthy fellow and his pals. Obviously, this yacht owner or his party-goers did not have their way with her and then have the poor girl done away with. Indubitably, all these events - though following a predictably discernable pattern - are mere exceptions to the general rule.
Not every, but only most, of the time does a cute girl on the superyacht of a business magnate suffer sexual humiliation (at best) or sexual assault (at worst) with the possibility of being killed all while completely ruining her chances with any decent man who may eventually want her. Even so, if you are an attractive young lady thinking of pimping yourself out for some adventure and a few kopeks you might consider - how many "exceptions" to a rule do you think plausibly exist?
The Den of Dubai: Herein reside the worst of the worst. No self-respecting man would have anything to do with a woman who has been to this Arab cesspit. Of course, no respectable woman would ever visit there. Then again, we are discussing Instagram Girls so decency is already a very relative term.
Even so, before acceding to that "Sponsored Trip" in the Evil Emirate a woman should at least understand what she is getting herself into. Far from being wooed by a suave Middle Easterner with a chance of marriage, an unsuspecting girl is far more likely to be on the receiving end of scatological behavior.
To the Muslim mind, at least in Dubai (and to a large extent Saudi Arabia as well), it is an apparent aphrodisiac to ruin or "spoil" Western females, especially those from Russia. These men have a propensity to degrade, with their sexual perversions including urination and defecation on girls during intercourse.
As much as it would like to be reported this is a rare or unique circumstance, it is in fact widespread. This is all the more shocking when it happens to an unsuspecting victim because a rational and sane person would not find such a thing in any way acceptable, let alone a sexual attraction.
Many a poor Russian girl expecting romance in the Middle East has found herself used as a literal toilet dump for some Muslim man. What an Instagram Girl needs to ask herself before boarding that flight - Is a Gucci bag or Vuitton purse worth the most humiliating experience of my life and one from which no worthy man is ever likely to redeem me?
All's Well That....Well, It Ends Anyway
Notable inversions of these catastrophic tales have occurred - it goes without saying they end poorly.
One example is Slovakian Swimwear Model Mayka Kukucova who shot and killed her British banker "sponsor" at his Spanish retreat. He had decided to "trade down" for a younger model from Russia, Maria Korotaeva. Prosecutors claim Kukucova murdered the man in a rage when he arrived home with his new girlfriend and told the aging (she was then 26) former flame to vacate. Poetic justice or not, it is indicative of the instability which often surrounds the Instagram Girl phenomena.
On the other end of the spectrum is Elena Karimova, described as an Instagram Queen, who killed her children and later burned the bodies to an unrecognizable condition. In this case, Karimova claimed she simply had to murder her children due to a financially difficult divorce. The poor girl had no choice given the strenuous demands of advertising cosmetics on the social media application. The fact she took multiple foreign holidays is totally beside the point. You're simply a "hater" to even mention it.
Even once inside "the big house" life is not safe for an Instagram Girl. Russian model Kira Mayer committed a Road Rage incident in Moscow when police there apprehended her. At that juncture Mayer did what comes naturally - she offered sex in exchange for her release. She later upped the ante to a "threesome" which law enforcement refused. Thereupon this blushing rose began fighting them. Officers arrested Mayer and off she went for 18 months in jail. The kicker to the case comes a month into the stint when other female inmates assaulted her. Mayer claims they were jealous of her charms.
It bears noticing child killer Karimova (then age 27) was similar in age to both banker murderer Kukucova (age 26) and threesome propositioner Mayer (then 24). It appears from cursory examination the mid to late 20s is when many Instagram Girls max out their profitability...not to mention their sanity.
The Quiet Desperation of Unconvincing Connections
All of which is not unlike precisely whence we began. For those of you curious regarding the end of poor Tithonus, his tale fares no better.
As he weakened in extreme old age, his muscles deteriorated to the point he became immobile. His speech became slurred until it was no more than an incoherent babble. He was tormented by thoughts of his amorous betrayal though unable to pursue his departed lover.
In time Tithonus became a cicada and can still be heard to this day, much as the Instagram Girls, subsisting in a state of abject loneliness and endlessly clicking away their lives.
Guy Somerset writes from somewhere in America.
The Russian Defence Ministry harbours plans to build a deep-water submersible vehicle to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench