Sarah Jane Adams (AKA Saramaijewels) has 40,000 followers on Instagram. Ok, not 104,000 like Kim Gordon, not 4 million like Madonna ... but still ... she has 40,000 obsessive Instagram fans ... and I'm one of them. I've started a friendship with this pal -- yes, I called her a pal -- who lives part-time in Australia, part-time in London and part-time just about everywhere else she feels like floppin'. She is the wandering gypsy I think we all want to be ... or at least some of us want to be at this point in our lives. Certainly I wanna be. My ex went on a solo four-month bike trip with a few belongings in his backpack recently ... and all men gravitated to him with lust and envy and a ... "why can't I" misty gaze. I think Sarah, 60, brings that up for women ... not the envy but feeding the free and easy, let's-go-for-it part of you. Hey, I'm a pro-active kinda lady and live the life I want to ... but she has AMPED IT UP ... and infected me. She's an exaggerated view of what I could be on a very courageous day. Me and 40,000 others who can't get enough of her. There is something about Sarah...
I'm drawn to rocker chicks, only this one answered my Instagram message! I asked if she would let me interview her for a project I am working on. She agreed within minutes. Now Kim Gordon wouldn't do that...
She was on one of her first trips to New York City and I remember her big teddy bear of a man commenting to me while we photographed her (impossible not to want to capture this woman): "Amazing. One year ago we had no idea of what Instagram was and now it has changed our lives."
Some of you, perhaps a lot of you, do not use Instagram. I get it! We work so damn hard to be "present" and -- oh god -- here's another social media avenue we have to find the time for. But as a visual person, I found it fascinating that -- just through imagery and not too much verbiage -- you get a feeling for people and lives you might want to enter, perhaps even become chums with. It's much more democratic then FB. You can reach out easily and not be conned into paying for anything -- yet.
About that Ferret...
Half of Sarah's appeal is her attitude 'cause she simply just doesn't give a f***. She started on Instagram as a ferret. Yes, a stuffed ferret. Now that's a lady who definitely doesn't take it all too seriously. The woman has a distinctive style, and one day she had on a really old Adidas jacket, mixed it up with "whatever was around," let her daughter's boyfriend take a smart ass picture of her. Her daughter posted it, hash tagged AdvancedStyle and AriSethCohen from the uber popular over-50 style blog -- and all hell broke loose. Ari, creator of Advanced Style, happened to be in Sydney, came over the next morning, took a couple of photos, and that's pretty much how it started. Sarah and Ari have become soul buddies since, and she has the utmost loyalty and respect for the man, "a gentle gorgeous soul." "I never considered myself a fashionista or any of those bullshit labels -- I'm just me doing my thing, traveling, living out of a suitcase..."
And that's what comes through ... her genuineness, her humor, her not giving a shit...
And she's NOT a Narcissist
If you know Instagram, you know there are a LOT of narcissists out there. Sarah is quite the opposite. She's real. She speaks the truth. Her mantra: "Be yourself. Speak for yourself." She attracts all kinds of ages, all kinds of cultures. I asked her about this. "I've got different genres of followers. Obviously, I've got a bunch of Adidas people (she loves her Adidas), the Brazilians love me cause I am colorful and bright, I am festive, the older and middle-aged women like me because I'm gray and able to live my life and have a happy time, the Japanese kids love me cause I am quirky and wear things in a quirky way. And then there are the Philly people. I found them and they inspired me -- so it's very much a reciprocal thing."
Aha! That's the difference with Sarah. It's reciprocal! She asks things. She responds. She does give a shit about the people who follow her. In fact, she considers them "her therapists." "To have 40,000 therapists out there -- some of whom are vocal and some of whom aren't -- that's huge. I mean, what a blessing is that."
Enough of me waxing on. Let me introduce you to the woman herself on a couple of rants and see if you have any inkling to become a part of the tribe. I can tell you, she's the real deal ... a gloriously "wicked, cheeky, wind up merchant" to quote Sarah...
Video produced by SixtySecondStories.com
Film by Bryant Norman
Maryjane Fahey is a writer, designer, animator and co-author of DUMPED, a breakup bible for women.
You'll find her new project, GLORIOUS BROADS on:
Video: Bryant Norman
Produced by SixtySecondStories.com