Japan, long a leading exporter of weirdness, has done it again, with a new trend that pretty much encapsulates everything sad and depressing about modern life: a Japanese company, Family Romance, is offering a new service that lets people rent “friends” to liven up their social media photos.
Ironically named “Real Appeal,” the service will send models matching a wide range of specifications to your door for 4,000 yen or $35 per hour, with a minimum session of two hours, during which time they are at your disposal for whatever carefully fabricated pictures you want to post to Instagram or Facebook – awesome group selfies, fabulous wine parties, wholesome picnics, you name it.
Customers simply choose models from a catalogue, with different ages, genders, and personal styles available.
There are obviously a wide range of potential applications: one photo on the Web site shows a groom surrounded by groomsmen in matching suits, while another suggests hiring a model for photos of a romantic weekend – just to make an ex-lover eat their heart out.
The company claims to handle around 100 bookings per month, with some customers hiring as many as ten model “friends” at a time.
Of course, the whole notion of renting friends to appear in social media pictures probably doesn’t seem quite as weird in a society that already lets you rent “friends” and even family members for events like weddings and funerals, to placate parents concerned about the lack of a boyfriend or girlfriend, or just to have some company.In conclusion: thank you, Japan, for all the weirdness you have given us – never change!