What Being a Vapid Socialite Taught Me About People

You’ll learn more about being a shitty person, and about shitty people, than you ever thought you could.
Grace Kelly clutches her pearls

When you’re 18 and slutty with a slightly elusive back story, the natural progression is to become a full-blown socialite. 

Being a socialite made me a shit-load of money (for someone who was basically a child) but it made me hate a certain breed of people. You can fuck your way to the top, promote your way to the top, and coke-talk your way to the top. It’s easier than you think. Just put on some clothes no one else is wearing (they’ll talk about it) and act as if you don’t give a fuck about anything.


The only problem is that the better you get at acting apathetic the more your identity and relationships will suffer in the long-term. You’ll learn more about being a shitty person, and about shitty people, than you ever thought you could.

In my late-teens to early 20s I went from bullied-at-school to popular party girl. I made a huge group of friends through people at university (which I attended 20% of the time), and that pipeline made me totally lifeless. Eventually, a pathetic and shallow outlook on relationships seeped into every aspect of my life – and harnessing it was both the smartest and dumbest thing I could’ve done. Smart because I could make a lot of money off it, dumb because it sucked my soul dry and made me have an existential crisis.

In high school I was in the “popular” group but the butt of all the jokes. They didn’t invite me to parties and they called me a slut (true but harsh coming from cut-throat teenage girls) and they still took cues from my style and music taste. 

I try not to complain too much about the bullying, because although I was punched in the back of the head at my best friend’s 18th for sleeping with my biggest hater’s ex-boyfriend, I was building a persona that would later be my biggest asset. I was playing the long game. I was insecure and depressed, but my Tumblr fame and head game gave me a glimmer of hope for the future.


Right out of school I made a network of rich guys from elite private academies who smoked bongs everyday and loved hanging out with me because I was into drugs and was a (sort-of) outcast. We’d snort multiple bright green European pingas a night, four nights a week, then go back to someone’s mansion and smoke cones in their garage. I’d go to work high on barely any sleep and win over hoards of private school girls, all fascinated by my closeness to these boys.

A socialite-slash-DJ and I once came up with a get-rich-quick plan: throw a fuck-off massive party, charge rich kids $50 to attend, and spend the profits on copious amounts of drugs. Our first event sold out, attended by 200 hot people, so we made $4500 each after the DJs were paid (for very little work).

At the start I didn’t realise I had built a fascination around my mysteriousness and hidden back-story, but people loved it. I’d come out of nowhere. People wanted to crack me and they wanted to be my friend, not only because there was a chance of a guestlist spot, but because they might be able to unlock my code. 

People love a mystery because it’s a limitless fantasy: they try to fill in the gaps of their curiosity and they usually assume the best. When they assume the worst they’re still hooked because they’re thinking about you. They fantasise about your demise and your hidden flaws. I wasn’t aware if I had any haters, but I was socially climbing my way to the top. Even I would have hated myself back then.


A combination of the partying, drugs, sex and drunk conversations with people who I secretly hated were all triggers for my eventual hibernation. I realised how vapid I was being and how insufferable the people around me were. I eventually leant into the side of me that actually cared what people thought of me and retreated, though I wouldn’t have come across as self-conscious to my social targets because I was always so fucking high. 

People essentially all suck (myself included), and it doesn’t matter how many shallow people you’ve won over, or how the guys you’ve fucked think you’re cool, because they just want to suck dry the part of you that doesn’t actually exist. It's the reality of being a socialite. 

I’ve learnt that everyone wants social clout if they’re not wrapped up in their own virtue. Those who aren’t have a demonic need to be talked about. They don’t need to be real, they just need to take up space in the minds of others. It’s a twisted form of validation.

I don’t miss my old self (a drug-addicted social-climber and clout chaser) and those times (okay, maybe I miss the basically unlimited drugs) but I’d kind of love to go back and be more hated by the people who frankly didn’t know shit about me. With more haters I’d have ended up with good amount of drive and a healthy dose of ego death. Fuck doing DMT.

Jewel Nichols is a writer and part-time psycho from Sydney who loves to talk about herself and flirt with security guards. Follow her on Instagram here.