Christian Worldview

The Point: The Influencer’s New Shoes


John Stonestreet

Vanity is expensive.

Maybe you’ve seen those undercover pranks where a restaurant passes off fast food as fine dining? Well, discount shoe store Payless did something similar. The company set up a fake luxury store in Santa Monica called “Palessi,” and invited fashion “influencers” to the grand opening.

Visitors dropped hundreds of dollars for 20-dollar shoes. Cameras captured them remarking on the quality and workmanship of the budget footwear.

Great advertising for Payless, but it reminds us of the fable about the emperor’s new clothes. Con artists literally sold the emperor nothing by simply appealing to his vanity.

I wonder how many fashion “influencers,” like the emperor, recognized the shoes as being cheap, but didn’t want to appear foolish. In the end, they wound up looking foolish anyway.

The question for Christians is, how willing are we to speak up in the face of social pressure? Do we keep silent about reality, just so we don’t look out of touch? Or to put it another way, how vain would we be if we were in their shoes?


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