The Great Gatsby

TOMBOY Beauty muse and London contributor, Matilda Dods gives us a lesson in exaggerated French girl beauty and writes on GATSBY-ING!


Picture this: You’re out with your friends, you’ve got a glass of wine in your hand, you’re laughing, your lipstick has worn off just the right amount, and your hair is cool-girl effortless. Pull out your phone and take a video that displays perfectly how fun, cute and carefree you are.

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20 minutes later you pull your phone out again, and immediately check to see if *they’ve* seen it. You know who *they* are. It is that guy or gal whose attention you’re trying to get with the video you just posted. You also know what I’m talking about…

You my dear, are [Gatsbying].

Gatsbying, To Gastby vb or n

To post a video, picture or selfie to public social media purely for a love interest to see it.

In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby, Gatsby throws extravagant parties purely to try to gain the attention of Daisy, across the bay. And that is exactly what you are doing with that cute picture of yourself showing just the right amount of leg and looking vivaciously nonchalant.

I first discussed the concept of Gatsbying on a Saturday night sat at a bar with the one and only Chloe Brinklow also the editor of TOMBOY Beauty. Already several pinot noir’s deep, and feeling particularly cute in a low cut, silk slip top, I passed my phone across the table to Chloe and requested, “Take a cute boomerang of me, I want _____ to see how damn good I look tonight.” About an hour later, I checked my phone to see if ______ had in fact seen the boomerang, and been struck with an uncontrollable urge to text me, and ask if he could see me later. He had not… Feeling slightly despondent, I believe I said something along the lines of,

“I bet this was how Gatsby felt, when he’d throw parties just so Daisy would come and fall in love with him!”

And thus, Gatsbying was born.

Since this night, Gatsbying has quickly become assimilated into mine and Chloe’s vernacular. We will text each other pictures before we send them and ask if we should post it to Gatsby whichever boy we’re wanting attention from. We will reply to each other stories with exclamations of ‘GATSBY!!!’ when we see posts that we know are purely for the other’s current love interest.

I feel like, as endlessly entertaining as the concept of Gatsbying is, I condone (and maybe even encourage) it wholeheartedly, it also makes me feel like such a bloody millennial, and also, maybe a little bit needy… Why, when I am out with my best friends, am I concerned with making sure that not only the world knows how much fun I am having, but specifically the boy who maybe hasn’t texted me back for a few days? Or the guy who told me I was too much for him, or the boy that said I wasn’t enough. The concept of Gatsbying plays directly into the quotidian conundrum of the social media savvy millennial. ‘If we didn’t put it online, did it really happen?’  Why, instead of just sending a text to the boy that I like, am I throwing the equivalent of a champagne soaked, chandelier swinging, Charleston dancing party on my insagram story? All for that ceaseless green light across the water that is the attention of a boy who, let’s be real, probably isn’t good enough for me anyway? 

On the other hand, do not distrust the effectiveness of a good Gatsby, par example; earlier this week, I took a particularly bad fall down a flight of stairs on a London bus, (do not be shocked, I am 5’10 with size 6 feet, equating to almost no centre of gravity. This is not an uncommon occurrence.) 2 days later, the outside of my thigh had blossomed into some pretty gruesome looking bruises. Now, a little extra context; the boy whose attention I have been pretty actively seeking for the last month or so, has always been incredibly amused by the fact that me getting through my daily activities could be compared to a matinee of Bambi On Ice.  I knew he’d love the bus story, but we hadn’t spoken in a few days, and I was not going to be the one to text him first to relay the story. Therefore, I was left with one option…

To Gatsby the shit out of said boy!

I made sure that despite the pretty disgusting bruises, my legs look long and my skin looked smooth, and posted with a caption along the lines of, ‘fought the stairs on the bus, and the stairs on the bus won.’

20 minutes pass.


He texts me and the banter begins. My darling, you have been successfully Gatsby’d.

Laugh all you want at the absurdity of this concept, let it institute a conversation into the ways we use social media and that maaaaybe we could be a little more present and a little less coy with our crushes. Go out and have a few wines, dance with your friends and legitimately enjoy yourself. But do not my friend, be afraid to shake your hips in your new dress to get the perfect boomerang. Even if it’s just for that boy that hasn’t texted you  back.

Editor & Creative direction: Chloe Brinklow

Photography: Christian Blanchard

Stylist: Nichhia Wippel

Hair & Makeup: Trine Juel

Art direction: Ella Jane

Model + Words: Matilda Dods @ IMG