In this week’s installment of Viral Hate Content, the internet has been marveling at a recent Refinery29 Money Diary tracking a week in the life of a 21-year-old marketing intern in New York City. In case you’ve missed out on the existence of this particular series, Money Diaries is a generally very fun Refinery29 recurring feature in which a range of modern working women relay how “they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period.” There are a few columns that peek into the lives of women making less than $20,000 in cities like New York and Tallahassee, but most of the diarists read as fairly privileged—or extremely privileged, as in the case of Monday’s newly-legal-to-drink diarist.
The anonymous young intern makes $25 an hour at her HR consulting gig, but pulls in an additional three grand a month from her parents, who give her an $800 monthly allowance—presumably in return for the chore of simply existing. They front the $2,100 rent that she pays for a one bedroom/one den West Village apartment that she’s splitting; her roommate pays $1,950 for the den. Why these two are paying over $4,000 for a one-bedroom apartment is never revealed. What is divulged is that along with her allowance, the diarist receives a charming monthly $300 wire from her grandfather, for which she is “#blessed.”
The entire diary—during which the intern spends a weekend in the Hamptons, Venmos her friends amounts as small as $5, and eats an absurd amount of avocado—is laden with so many millennial stereotypes that it reads like a David Brooks fever dream. There are so many obvious and frankly absurd references that it seems entirely possible that this Money Diary was written by that same guy who catfished his way into writing that viral Coachella Odyssey post. The revelations that Refinery29 doesn’t seem to verify the identities of the diarists and that they admittedly rushed to get the diary out don’t exactly help dull the suspicion that this was written by someone who wanted to follow the exact formula for millennial-fueled viral hate content. Either way, it worked!
Did Refinery29 get punked by a bot coded with Goop newsletters? Who knows! But here’s a tally of all the piece’s most dubious millennial stereotypes.
• Six mentions of the word avocado, including unironic avocado toast and this particularly notable aside: “I snack on half an avocado and love how I can just scoop it out with a spoon.”
• Other foods that include açai bowls, freekeh, rosé, sparkling water, summer salads, niche nut butter, baby kale, and Siggi’s yogurt. Also this bougie-health-nut millennial Mad Lib: “vegan, gluten free [frozen yogurt with] sugar free mixed berry flavor with shaved coconut, choco chips, and candied walnuts.”
• Sooo many Venmo exchanges including “a friend of mine let me make four drinks with her Bacardi, so I Venmo her a little money.”
• Two mentions of a “girl squad.”
• An undercurrent of homeopathy not limited to using essential oils and “adaptogens” to cure anxiety and referring to yogurt as “toxic shit.”
• Overabbreviation of words: def, tbh, gal pals, BFF.
• Chichi, expensive fitness regimens including six mentions of Equinox, one Barry’s Bootcamp, and one hot yoga class, and monthly expenses including a monthly Brazilian sugaring.
• Being “beyond bored” as an intern and frittering away work hours “researching podcasts for ‘living your best life’ ” and watching soccer.
Given this exhaustive list of too-perfect evidence, I personally feel comfortable imagining that this Money Diary was a clever troll that capitalized on both digital publications’ reliance on hate-traffic fuel and our collective distaste for both millennial women and trappings of wealth. Either that, or a sponsored post for Equinox.