In an age where so many young, outrageously wealthy people pose on social media, it can be difficult to know just who among them is the most detestable.
Fortunately, though, help is now at hand, in the form of several Instagram accounts dedicated to the public service of scouring the internet for such gaudy, eye-watering displays of offensive opulence that you are left wondering if the subjects are even real.
Alas, they are.
The worst kind of reality
According to its online biography, one of the most recent profiles, "The Luxury Kids" – which has accrued almost 190,000 followers – proclaims to shine a light on the "Life of The Luxury Kids From The World [sic]", and generally features the children of moguls and millionaires. They might be "from the world" – but it won't be one you recognise.
A typical post shows a well-manicured hand pouring a bottle of Armand de Brignac's Ace of Spades Brut champagne (yours for $500 at Selfridges) into a bathtub, accompanied by the words, "I only wash myself with the best." Another depicts a Rolex strapped, for no clear reason, around somebody's fingers. "Peasants use brass nuckles, I use gold," reads the accompanying, spellcheck-free caption. Elsewhere there are Lamborghinis, pet tigers, private jets, wads and wads of cash, mentions of "Daddy", designer clothes, and not a trace of self-awareness.
It is vulgarity in excelsis, and yet every upload receives thousands of "likes", along with an even greater number of outraged comments. It seems, 30 years after Harry Enfield gave us the original character on Saturday Live, members of Generations Y and Z have relaunched Loadsamoney – only this time they've ditched the irony.
Exploits of the obnoxious
Who exactly is behind The Luxury Kids account is not known, but they appear to be posting a mixture of their own excesses, photos submitted by fellow Luxury Kids, and random examples of young people flaunting their wealth, curated from across the internet – think loos being flushed with champagne and wads of cash shoved into sandwiches.
The Luxury Kids might be the latest (and most obnoxious) to gather the one per cent's most obnoxious exploits in one place, but it is not the first. The original, "The Rich Kids of Instagram" – a similar blog that began in 2012 and reproduces photos in plush gold frames – has spawned multiple reality television series, spin-offs around the globe, and even a novel.
Many of the pictures are sent in by the "luxury" kids themselves, who are evidently keen for as many people as possible to despise them. One post on the Luxury Kids profile shows an array of expensive car keys, with the owner asking Instagram users which vehicle he should use, to which a commenter replies: "There are kids in Africa starving, why don't you help them?"
Britain's own versions – Rich Kids of London and Rich Kids of the UK – now have well over half a million followers, and almost as many on Facebook. The London site is run by an anonymous, 22-year-old financial broker from London. "I have always loved seeing rich kids' lifestyles and I wanted to show them to motivate everyone to do well in their life," he said in an interview last year.
Astonishingly, not everyone appreciates the motivational aspect of the rich kids' exploits. "Sometimes the account gets a bad name for existing," said the UK curator. "People do not like to see the posts of some people's opulent lifestyles and some become envious and spiteful."
While they can probably afford a tiny Stradivarius with which to accompany this lament, it's a reminder that some of the subjects are real. So who exactly are the kids, willing to absorb the slings and arrows of online disapproval in order to let people know they have oodles of cash?
Behind the filter
Many have tight privacy settings on their own social media accounts, but one who frequently appears on both the Luxury Kids and Rich Kids of London pages – though it's unclear if he has agreed to do so – is Dave Sullivan Jr, son of the West Ham FC joint-chairman. While he ostensibly works in "nightlife and tech stuff", "The Notorious Dave Sullivan", as the 19-year-old calls himself on Instagram, appears to still enjoy the spoils of his father's estimated £1.1 billion (A1.85 billion) business fortune, which he will likely take over one day. The pair already appear to work closely together, travelling the world and attending every West Ham match in tandem.
Sullivan Jr recently appeared on Instagram drinking champagne. "West Ham 1-0 Swansea - Wearing a velvet smoking jacket in memory of Hugh Hefner #RIPHef," he wrote.
That was enough for Rich Kids of London to label him the "king" of the capital, which in turn garnered almost 3000 likes from fans. Elsewhere on Sullivan's account, he can be seen in a private jet, partying at Mahiki nightclub in Mayfair, attending a Miss Swimsuit UK pageant audition round, and inspiring his followers with the motivational message that "97 per cent of the people who quit too soon are employed by the 3 per cent who never gave up."
That might be sage advice, were it not pasted over a still from The Wolf of Wall Street.
All that money and no class
But a nastiness exists, too. One image shows a crowd gathered outside a branch of Primark, with a caption calling them "peasants" for shopping there. Another features somebody cleaning their suede shoe with a £50 note because a "peasant" touched them.
Mainly, though, these are just mind-blowingly wealthy people showing off. And by following and liking their every move, surely we have to take some of the blame for their online presence?
Now that's one thing the Luxury and Rich Kids might not be able to buy – the oxygen of publicity.
The Telegraph, London