Joanne The Scammer Is Our Moral Liberation
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Politics and Activism

Joanne The Scammer Is Our Moral Liberation

How Joanne the Scammer Frees Us of Moral Obligation.

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Joanne The Scammer Is Our Moral Liberation

Joanne the Scammer is, and I quote, “The messy bitch that lives for drama.” Joanne, a character created by social media celebrity Branden Miller is a petty, fake liar and thief who identifies as Caucasian although her appearance indicates otherwise. She has over half million Twitter followers and 1.6 million Instagram followers who live for her scamming and general slaying.

I love Joanne the Scammer. I’ve watched her Instagram videos dozens of times, so much so that I have some of them memorized. Her Twitter is equally entertaining. Her tweets, which are generally adages such as, “be positive, be patient, be petty,” or “Everything in life is temporary, so steal what you want today” give me so much life.

Her advice, framed using language that we might find in self-help books, reads as so outlandish and diametrically opposed to my own moral code, yet so completely tantalizing, that I can’t help but consider Joanne to be an alter ego of mine.

I daresay Joanne the Scammer is an alter ego for many of us. She allows us to imagine a world in which we are free of moral obligation or social responsibility. We are all a part of a social contract that indicates that it is generally wrong to fraud, embezzle, and deceive others for monetary gain. Our social contract says that it is a sign of emotional maturity to be polite to people that you may not like and to be compassionate and forgiving. Joanne the Scammer has been freed of this social contract and most social mores that keep us from killing each other. She is allowed live a life of pettiness. She makes generally bitchy, snobby, and sly behavior look entirely delectable. Not only that, but Joanne serves as a mirror for our pettiness. We celebrate her successful scams, and find comedy in her reality-tv ready commentary about her “ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend.” She is so authentic in who she is, which in an ironic and entirely hilarious way, allows us to embrace our petty nature too.

The cherry on top of Joanne the Scammer’s deliciously petty sundae is her identification as a white woman. Her infamous line, “Get out of my Caucasian house,” used by fans such as myself, make fun of the haughtiness and snobbery of the stereotypical white upper-middle class woman. That the person behind the fur coat, Branden Miller, is a non-white queer male, makes Joanne’s whiteness perfect satire: she gives white people an inside look at how non-white people view them. I can’t tell you how much I laughed when I watched “Caucasian Living with Joanne the Scammer.” Although the video is not likely intended to be a critical commentary on what upper-class white people look like to non-whites, I found it so perfect that she plays with whiteness and white privilege in such an entirely comical way.

We can all admit it: being selfless, compassionate, and forgiving can be burdensome. Sometimes I just want to be completely petty without repercussions. Not everyone is built to be a Gandhi or Mother Theresa. Joanne the Scammer is a character who many of us secretly admire and wish to be: drama-loving, petty, lying, messy bitches who give no f*&!s.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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