Photo by Kristiana Kuqi
There’s never a shortage of people shouting, “Look at me!!” on social media.
From influencers to ordinary folks who think we care about their dog and what they eat every day, the impact social media has on our culture isn’t changing anytime soon.
And, of course, there are those crazy or ridiculous ideas that spread like wildfire and inspire others – and only in an Instagram world could we be subjected to them.
You must remember this…
Is a kiss just a kiss?
Well, it depends. Sometimes, a kiss becomes part of history, like the iconic photo of the soldier returning home from World War II who grabbed a nurse and laid one on.
Then there are those legendary kisses – Lancaster and Kerr in From Here to Eternity, Bergman and Bogart in Casablanca…
…Han and Leia, Wesley and Buttercup, Noah and Allie (guys, you better know this one if there’s a woman in your life).
The point is, a kiss is supposed to mean something—I like you; I love you; I’m overcome by emotion (or drunk) and want to do something impulsive.
Even in the movies, actors need to have some sort of chemistry to make us feel like one of these things is going on.
Even that rushed peck from your husband or wife as you run out the door for work chugging down your coffee means something. We’ll survive the day, and then we can order pizza for dinner.
It’s hard to be inspired by a kiss that doesn’t mean anything, especially when it’s a total sham that’s supposed to look like it means something.
Well, one social media influencer is being called “legendary” for concocting a plan that takes the kiss to a whole new level.
And we just have to wonder, is this all it takes to attain legendary status these days?
Don’t answer that. I think I know and I don’t want my fears confirmed.
Like many millennial attention-addicts who came before her, Kristiana Kuqi likes to post photos of her beautiful self in beautiful clothes (or lack thereof) so everyone can see how exciting and beautiful she is.
Her Instagram page is full of them. “Look at me in my cute workout outfit. Look at me walking my dog while I drink a latte. I’m so talented.”
Kristiana lists herself as a “traveler” on her Instagram page. She says she wants “to reveal the highest, truest expression” of herself.
That’s great, girl. Goals are a good thing.
She likes to travel to the most romantic cities in the world and post photos of herself and her man kissing n front of iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower.
Except… she doesn’t have a man. At least not one she knows.
Yep, this budding influencer is experiencing her fifteen minutes of fame by posting romantic photos of herself kissing complete strangers.
She says she just goes to romantic spots with her friends, scopes out the area, and finds a guy to approach.
Then she asks him to passionately kiss her in front of said iconic landmark while her friends snap a photo.
She posts them on Instagram, makes sure everyone knows the guys are strangers, and then waits for the ‘likes’ to pour in.
And, of course, they do. By the thousands. And she’s being hailed as a legend by other women who can’t imagine doing such a thing.
Kuqi is originally from Kosovo. She’s studied in the U.S. and abroad, but there’s no mention of her doing anything to make a living on her page.
What she does have is a GoFundMe page so her loyal followers can donate to support her romantic solo travels where she’ll find the next photogenic stranger with soft lips.
She’s young and beautiful, and yet her true millennial-ness shows when she states with surprise that none of the young men have ever turned down her request, she tells Insider.
She always makes sure to use a good quality lip gloss so these gentlemen “notice her lips.” They’re “natural and passionate” she says. They’re “more than happy to do it.”
Duh… “Hmm, a beautiful woman wants to kiss me for no reason. Let me explore my feelings about that,” said no man ever.
She’s proud and confident!
Kuqi also claims that her little project has really boosted her “inner confidence.”
Yeah, there’s nothing like kissing dozens of strange men to make you feel attractive and worthwhile.
And then there’s the constant stream of reassurance that she’s doing a great thing through all those likes and positive comments she’s getting online.
And the comments are overwhelmingly positive.
Women are commenting that they wish they had the confidence to ask a total stranger to kiss them in public. Or they applaud her idea as one that shows “just how far women have come” in the last decades.
Kissing one man (you actually care about) at a time is so yesterday.
And then there are the comments from men. They’ve obviously got no problem at all with this idea. In fact, they’d like every woman on earth to be like Kuqi.
There are a few, however, who are pointing out the obvious – whether Kuqi wants to hear it or not.
Some comments are along the lines of, “Girl, you don’t know where those lips have been!,” and I have to agree.
Any one of her chosen kissing partners could be getting a cold, the flu, or Ebola. Or almost as bad, they could have eaten liver and onions for lunch.
And then there’s the irony behind her little quest.
Isn’t she violating her millennial feminist sisters’ vow to hate all men? To be an independent, empowered woman?
In the days of #MeToo, aren’t men supposed to cower in fear if they dare to hug a woman or give her a compliment?
Kuqi doesn’t think she’s being at all contradictory. In fact, she thinks she is empowering women, saying it’s a form of power to be able to kiss a stranger and have no emotional attachment or future contact.
She says it “breaks the stereotype that women are hopeless romantics just looking for love.”
So you’re posting pictures of yourself and a handsome stranger engaging in a passionate kiss in the most romantic of places on earth – literally on a quest to recreate the epitome of romance and share it with the world – but you’re not a hopeless romantic?
Somebody explain this to me. It’s all a little confusing.
But I guess that’s why she’s an Instagram influencer. Kuqi is taking risks (at least in the eyes of most women her age), and that’s probably what attracts people to her.
And like the rest of us, she probably doesn’t understand it herself. Maybe being ironic and contradictory is part of her finding the “highest, truest expression” of who she is.
I get the concept of what she’s doing. After all, they’re very nice – very romantic – photos. And maybe she’ll have a connection with one of these men one day, like it was all “meant to be.” No good romance ignores the idea of destiny.
But the “why?” when she says one thing and does another?
Nope, don’t get it. But it seems that people who make the least sense get the most likes on social media.
And, just like the Hokey Pokey, that’s what it’s all about.
So, Congrats, Kristiana. You’ve joined the ranks of the other influencers who want us to look twice – without thinking too much about what we’re actually looking at.
I think I’ll grab my lip gloss and hop on a plane to Paris. This could be fun.