Netflix’s South Korean drama show about e-celebs in Soeul, ‘Celebrity,’ centers around the career of the country’s top influencer Seo Ah-ri, who challenges the status quo throughout her career. After accidentally finding her rise to fame, with help from an anonymous blogger, Ah-ri, a regular office worker, paves her way through the classist high society of the city. However, once she reaches the top, she decides to unveil the industry’s dark secrets through an online live stream that threatens to change the way people perceive celebrity culture fundamentally.
Revolving around Seo Ah-ri, the show features a group of influencers dubbed “The Gabin Society” as the stereotypical mean girl group that Ah-ri must go up against on her pathway to success. Due to the group’s online relevance resembling elements from real-life online culture, viewers must be curious to know if the group has a basis in reality. Here’s everything we know!
Is Gabin Society a Real Online Group?
No, the Gabin Society is not based on a real online group. ‘Celebrity’s’ Gabin Society is an influencer group consisting of Jin Chae-Hee, the unannounced leader, alongside Oh Min-Hye, Ji-Na, Angela, and Han Yu-Rang. The group is made up of online celebrities with high follower counts with the purpose of supporting each other’s accounts on social media. At the same time, the group members also collaborate with each other to increase engagement and present a tight-knit friendship online to maintain brand image.
Although no influencer group named Gabin Society exists in real life, the concept of online groups or squads isn’t uncommon at all. Since the rise of TikTok, the internet has seen several “Content Houses” with friendship groups ranging from “The Hype House” to “Offline TV.” Unlike the Gabin Society, these kinds of collaboration groups usually tend to be a lot more pronounced and forthright about their collaborative efforts but serve the same purpose.
Likewise, sometimes influencers prefer to be more subtle about their collaborations, and their friendship feels a lot more authentic and organic. A good example of the same picked from the South Korean influencer community might be Joanday and her friends Dahyeshka, Gemjem, and Kindacool. These influencers often effortlessly appear on each other’s feeds due to their close connections and friendships.
While ‘Celebrity’ was pretty transparent about the Gabin Society’s fake niceties for the camera’s benefit, the authenticity of such influencer groups varies in real life. Nevertheless, the purpose remains the same. Through such collaborative efforts, influencers can increase online exposure and engagement while promoting a relatable side of their lives through these friendships. Although the same works as a great marketing tool, it also inevitably lends to the formation of online cliques with mobilized fans.
Since the show primarily focuses on fame within the fixated community in Soeul, it utilizes its inhabitants to convey different aspects of social media culture. With Gabin Society, the narrative talks about the advantages and privileges that come to those born in wealth. Additionally, it also highlights the exclusionist rhetoric that comes with classism. Other than that, we also see themes of jealousy, betrayal, and deception explored through Gabin Society members. These motifs are extremely common in such stories about elite social circles, portraying the dark spoilt side of success.
Therefore, although the Gabin Society from ‘Celebrity’ is not based on a real influencer group, it certainly has a connection to reality. For its conceptual base framework as a social media staple, the Gabin Society takes inspiration from real life. In doing so, it also explores familiar themes and inner dynamics within its characters that set a compelling stage for the show’s dramatic storylines.