Julia Fox's Apartment Tour Made My Nipple Hairs Stand On End
When Julia Fox took TikTok followers on a tour of her Manhattan apartment, I felt the universe snapping into place like a Magna-Tiles structure.
Julia Fox took TikTok followers on a tour of her Manhattan apartment and it electrified me. My nipple hairs stood on end. Headlines called her place “mice-infested” and “tiny.” I’d say modest, not tiny. Only two people live there! I’d say, can pests really infest us? Weren’t they here first? Julia Fox took TikTok followers on a tour of her Manhattan apartment and I feel the universe snapping back into place like a Magna-Tiles structure.
Julia Fox is an actor and model who was known primarily for starring in Uncut Gems, then for a probable PR relationship with Kanye West following his divorce, and eventually for being, per a viral tweet, “so annoying that only gay dudes and annoying women are into her.” She’s been sporting high-fashion bleached eyebrows since last year, the sight of which is apparently repellent to her ex/child’s father, adding to its appeal. This, to me, is a hilarious bit. Then again, I’m an Annoying Woman.
How would a one-time dominatrix, current “it girl” Manhattanite live? My mental mood board is populated by draped velvet and deep plum tones. A clear acrylic crib comes to mind. She introduces her apartment tour by indicating that it “might make other people feel like they’re not doing so bad.” From this, I was primed to be condescended to with a hollow “Stars, They’re Just Like Us” tableau. Maybe we’d see a messy bathroom counter, but it’s all high-end beauty samples from awards show swag bags.
The ADHD community calls a languishing stack of unrelated items a “doom pile.” Fox’s apartment gives off big doom pile energy.
What we are treated to instead is…. an apartment. The walls are not overwrought with art, the furnishings feel secondhand. It is a cross between your childhood best friend’s bedroom and any normie toddler-mom’s space. The living room has become her bedroom, because she has wisely given over the only “real” bedroom (the room with a door) to her toddler son. Her long hallway is flanked by boxes, stacks of papers, a trike. The ADHD community calls a languishing stack of unrelated items a “doom pile.” Fox’s apartment gives off big doom pile energy. A professional organizer has never set foot in this space. Nor has an interior designer to the stars. “Here’s my grow station,” she says of some little pots, a plant graveyard.
Sociologist Kathryn Jezer-Morton has written about the erasure of messiness from online spaces in the “mamasphere” as a function of the influencer economy: “An executive at an influencer-management company told me that influencers are encouraged to decorate and dress in neutrals because it allows sponsored products to pop visually in contrast.” Clutter, curio, and tchotchkes have no value in this visual currency. Countertops are bare and crumbless, the detritus of living immediately tidied away. The visuals we expect to see in our online feeds have translated to baseline middle-class expectations. We are being coached to treat our homes as though they are being indefinitely staged to sell. How are we pulling off being both the producers of The Truman Show, and Truman himself? When we check into an Airbnb that was clearly bought for the purpose of rental income, aren’t we unnerved? Relaxed, maybe, but also creeped out. Isn’t there something sinister about a home belonging to no one?
Of course, as an antidote to the antiseptic aspirational interior content, many influencers opt to occasionally show “relatable” glimpses of life with children, but these peeks only seem to reinforce the notion that anything less than pristine is embarrassing. This creator is just willing to embarrass themselves to connect with you.
There is a thing that happens in my kitchen, which is called Trash Box. A large cardboard box arrives at my home, usually containing diapers. The diapers are unpacked into the closet. Then, the empty box migrates to the kitchen where it exists in a pre-recycled limbo until someone decides to flatten it and move it outside to the recycling bin. The kitchen waste bin initiates its ritual of overflowing. The emotional texture of our household (three young children who all need something now) is not conducive to taking out the garbage with promptness. My husband and I play chicken for a bit, stacking trash on the overflowing bin in a disgusting shrine. Then one of us does something impish: we start putting trash into the open box instead of the waste bin. Though I am frequently culpable for the existence of Trash Box, the sight of it still sends me into a rage. “Do we live in a bando? What is happening here??” I say, then do nothing.
Julia Fox did not have a Trash Box in her kitchen. But, having seen her home tour, I now believe that Julia Fox would understand Trash Box, and that Trash Box is normal. That even if you don’t have a Trash Box, you have a version of it. For instance, last week my husband excavated a rotting Halloween pumpkin from the trunk of our minivan.
Julia Fox has a cozy nest, where a single mom and her toddler have all they need and the whole city at their doorstep. I bet, like me, she is living her dream life, and I’m glad I got to see it.