After swearing off social media in a Vogue interview in 2014 (for a January, 2015 cover), it appears that Sienna Miller has committed herself to Instagram. For now. She joined on Monday with “Greetings” written on her hand and wearing a “We Should All Be Feminists” shirt. Since then two more photos: a poster for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Young Vic and a selfie with Cara Delevingne.
But what does it all mean? Well, let’s go back a minute to March when I talked about her relationship with her ex and her move to New York. Sienna used to be great for gossip and then she had a family and went very quiet.
The height of Sienna Miller’s tabloid infamy was about 10 years ago – long before Instagram was an integral part of branding. Many of the most well-respected actresses working today (Jessica Chastain, Lupita, Anne Hathaway) use Instagram. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these are also among the most fashionable movie stars. Designers, fashion houses, stylists and editors have embraced the visual medium. You’ll see a fashion magazine cover in your feed weeks before you will see it on a stand. There is no snobbishness around it.
But is it digital shyness that has kept Sienna from it, or self-preservation? In that Vogue interview, Sienna said that part of the reason she avoided social media is because she would not be able to stand the insults – she likes to clap back. And as we all know, a celebrity can post a picture of a panda holding a daffodil in front of a rainbow and someone will have something negative to say. Sienna will have ample opportunity to scrap in the comments. Those conversations devolve fast and get picked up by outlets even faster – so what does that look like? Will she choose to be chatty, like SJP? Turn the comments off? Fight back? Ignore it? Sienna is always telling us she’s mouthy, but will we see it? God I hope so.
As I’m sure she realizes, her follows will be hotly monitored. So far, it’s a lot of fashion people and editors, along with politicians, the Delevingne sisters and, as all the headlines are reporting, Sadie Frost and Raffi and Iris Law. Yes she follows Ben Affleck (but I don’t think it means anything). Robin Wright, Alan Cumming and Sky Ferreira are also on the list.
What will be interesting is watching her navigate the learning curve and how quickly she will utilize the medium to her advantage. Will it be a lot of fashion shots? Selfies with famous friends (OMG – what if Cara introduces her to Taylor?)? Will she choose to show her child, whom she has kept quite guarded until now? How soon will she be baited by a troll?
Every Sienna interview alludes to her drama-filled 20s; she did nothing egregious (oh yeah, except for that time she had an affair with Balthazar Getty), but there’s been this overwhelming sense that she needs to repent for being young, fun, and a little wild – and that’s also been a narrative she’s played into, talking about her bucolic life and blissfully quiet family time to bump against the very old headlines.
After years of whinging about tabloids, Sienna can shape her own headlines (see: her follow of Jude Law’s family) in a totally self-directed medium. As Lainey has said before, some celebrities now eschew traditional publicists in order to “get their own story out.” The problem is, most of them don’t know what the f-ck they are doing and need publicists more than ever to control their base, egotistical impulses. What’s she like when she has a large audience, an open comments section and total control over her editorial? What does Sienna want to tell us and how many hashtags will she use? (Lainey: what does Sienna at Burger King look like on Instagram?)