Most of this summer’s top culture stories happened on a screen. Relationships began and ended on Instagram, tweets were fired by presidential candidates, and celebrities were slandered on Snapchat. When the sun came out, so did everyone’s phones — and the drama.
Taylor Swift had a particularly busy summer on social media, kicking it off with her “Taymerica” Fourth of July bash in Rhode Island with friends Gigi Hadid, Blake Lively, and Cara Delevingne, which was arguably the most staged vacation photoshoot of all time. Until Swift one-upped herself with a dazzling display of PDA with her new boyfriend, Tom Hiddleston. This was only months after announcing her relationship with Calvin Harris on Instagram — a post that she’s since deleted.
And then — ah, there’s always and then when it comes to celebrities on social media — Kim Kardashian slayed any ounce of dignity Swift had left when she dropped via Snapchat the recording of a revealing call between her and her husband, Kanye West, regarding one of the most controversial songs of the summer: “Famous” from “The Life of Pablo.” This caused Swift to recoil into the banality of real life — stripping her of the “Flexed the Most” on social media title this summer.
Justin Bieber was a candidate for this title as well, but he ruined his chances as well when he deleted his Instagram account (only after revealing his new relationship with Sofia Richie and getting in a comment feud with ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez.) Oh, and the butt pics, too. The butt pics! So much near-nudity happened on social media this summer, from Anthony Weiner to Orlando Bloom’s paparazzi photos, to Kim Kardashian…always. But that’s not the kind of flexing we get behind, pun intended.
Here, a definitive guide to who flexed the hardest on social media this summer…and didn’t get un-followed, blocked, deleted, or degraded in the process. Find out why Kylie Jenner is the clear winner.
Mariah Carey, elusive summer diva, was our inspiration with her shameless mega-yacht photos.
When the Brant brothers weren’t getting arrested, they were flexing about their arrests.
Sofia Richie had her time in the sun as Justin Bieber’s new girlfriend, only to be out-shined by someone with the name “Bronte Blampied.” How is one supposed to compete with that?
Drake literally hasn’t stopped flexing since he became swoll, but his Summer Sixteen tour with Future added a whole other level of metaphorical flexing to his repertoire. Plus, Rihanna. If they turn out to be an item, we’ll have to rethink our winner here.
Since joining Instagram in December, Donatella Versace has given us a constant stream of dreamy Italian men. Bless this flex.
Emily Ratajkowski was born for summer, that’s all there is to say.
Billionaire David Geffen loves to flex his yacht and celebrity friends like Oprah and Leonardo DiCaprio on Instagram.
Ryan Locate’s flexing made him an American champion. Until he became America’s biggest dingus.
Marc Jacobs loves his cute boyfriend, his cute dogs, his cute clothes, his vape and flying private. He also works hard and can flex all he wants, in our opinion.
R.I.P. the Taylor Swift flex.
Kylie Jenner is the silent summer flexer, and wins the prize for most brags per capita. She celebrated her birthday for a solid month, with cars, and cakes, and flowers, and flying her friends to Turks and Caicos. Plus, endless PDA with her boyfriend Tyga, and a daily new Lip Kit drop. Congratulations, Kylie Jenner, you had the least humble summer.
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