As a fellow creator of original content, I sympathized with poor Lauren Bullen. In a “Gypsea Lust” blog post that proceeded to go viral, the 23-year-old Aussie expressed dismay and concern over the efforts of a fellow Instagrammer, @Diana_Alexa, to mimic her stylized selfies. "When a girl travels across the world recreating your exact imagery over and over again you begin to worry," Ms. Bullen wrote in the post that made headlines worldwide.
The brunette copycat appeared to be following Bullen and boyfriend Jack Morris to scenic locations in Greece, Morocco, Italy and Spain. (Shots of the women atop Montserrat's stunning Escala de l’Enteniment sculpture led to my quirky little story in the Globe and Mail.) The copycat was posed identically in similar attire (or lack thereof), and even seemed to have enlisted an unidentified male companion to stand in for Morris. Staging the copycat photos “would have taken a lot of time and work,” Bullen went on, adding that even the jewellery aped her own. “Not to mention the cost of all this -- those outfits and accommodations don’t come at a cheap price.”
So true. So disturbing! So...full of holes:
- Why would anyone go to such trouble and expense to copy someone else's photos? Psychopaths don't need sensible reasons, I suppose, but this isn't John Lennon and Mark David Chapman.
- Bullen isn't specific about the locations of her shots, and they aren't tagged in the images. So how would @Diana_Alexa have been able to find the exact same spots? It's not like Bullen is posed next to a guard at Buckingham Palace...
I'm no Clarice Starling, but maybe, just maybe, the two were travelling together. (Insert sarcastic fanfare.) That would have made it a lot easier to share the aforementioned duds and bling, and would explain the identical locations.
But wait, there's more: According to various reports, the copycat's Twitter account has been linked to Bullen's, with the latter's personal email address appearing as the contact. Bullen has also deleted her initial post about the incident, and @Diana_Alexa has disappeared from cyberspace. Curiouser and curiouser!
Bullen has denied staging a hoax. "I worked so hard for years to get where I am, why would I risk loosing it all for an attempt to gain some extra followers?" she told PetaPixel.com. "That would be stupid."
Sounds like a non-denial denial to me.