On a whim I pull out my phone, in search of a midday distraction. Soon, I find my escape: a photo of Olivia Culpo, the social media sensation and former Miss Universe, on my Instagram feed. She is posing on the hood of a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen in a red crop top, chiseled midriff exposed, like a millennial pinup. As I scroll through her recent photos, taken on the road to and at Coachella, my mind leaves planet Earth. I am now in Olivia land, a perennially sunny realm of glamour, girl power, and taut skin. I never want to leave.
“No, not at all,” Culpo tells me with a laugh when I ask whether the photo was spontaneous. “I thought it was so funny because it was so extra.” We are speaking after she has just returned home to Los Angeles from the desert music festival, which has become a pilgrimage for anyone with an Instagram following of over 1,000. Culpo is approaching four million. “Basically, I have to think of a place where I can go, and [my friend] takes 50 pictures, and then one is good enough,” she says. “This is a highlight reel, and it is a creative outlet. [Instagram] is not real life.”
Not much of Culpo’s life seems real these days. Since winning Miss Universe in 2012, the radiant brunette has seized that platform to build a multifaceted career spa