In case you haven’t heard of “Humans of New York”, here’s a quick primer: The page, run by a photographer named Brandon, blew up on Facebook in recent months thanks to its candid portraits of the fascinating people who pass through our nation’s biggest city on any given day.
The project ran into some controversy recently when Brandon photographed an 18-year old New Yorker named Stella Boonshoft. Stella’s Body Love self-acceptance blog already had a significant online following when she ran into Brandon, but his decision to feature her intimate, underwear-only self portrait on his site increased the attention tenfold. In just over 12 hours, it attracted 270,000 likes, 10,000 shares and 2,600 comments—most supportive but some judgmental and dismissive.
The blog’s tone is unapologetic and somewhat confrontational: on her most-trafficked post, Stella writes “This is my body. Not yours…Meaning my size, IS NONE OF YOUR F*CKING BUSINESS.”
The duo’s viral success earned them an appearance on The Today Show, and this morning they talked to Savannah Guthrie about the trials and tribulations of virtual celebrity:
Some interesting additional details:
What do we think? Does Stella’s newfound fame, like Jennifer Livingston’s on-air speech, count as another strike against the “bullies”? Is it a win for populist PR?