WASP 101 Blogger Exposed?

WASP 101 Richard and Bryan Richard HollowayThis week Christian Chensvold of Ivy Style received a tip from an unnamed source concerning the identity of the person responsible for the pretentious Richard character of WASP 101.  Following clues gleaned from postings at WASP 101, the source claims that Richard is actually Rep. Bryan Richard Holloway (R), a five-term member of the North Carolina House of Representatives.  Holloway’s 91st district is a largely rural area of farmers, blue collar workers and NASCAR races.

For those of you not familiar with WASP 101, it was a much maligned personal blog devoted to what Richard perceived as the manners, taste and lifestyle of the upper class.  He frequently posted images of himself wearing clothing that he thought suited to the landed gentry.  Apparently, Richard viewed himself as a gentleman and member of the leisure class, but this was clearly a fantasy.  The clothing combinations he posted were, in my opinion, ill-fitting affectations and signified the desperate longings of a social climber who was too incompetent to pull off even a passable act.  In fact, many bloggers have commented that they first thought WASP 101 was conceived as a satire and were disappointed to learn that it was in ernest.

One could take most of WASP 101, for Richard sometimes got things right, as an important source of what not to do for those looking to better themselves by improving their appearance.  Unfortunately, the WASP 101 site was deleted shortly after Chensvold’s post suggesting the Holloway connection.  Observers have taken this key point along with other clues on the possible Holloway/WASP 101 connection – physical resemblance (at least the chin), shared name Richard, same birthday, same pet dachshund named Governor and a striking similarity in clothing- as conclusive proof.

If you read Chensvold’s linked post above and his follow up, the evidence does seem fairly strong that Holloway is Richard of WASP 101.  Should this prove to be true, it will be up to the voters of the 91st district to decide whether their current representative, a man with strong upper class pretensions, a passion for men’s clothing and a fondness for posting images of WASPY women he deems desirable, should be reelected.  Maybe he could survive these revelations.  But more troubling is that Holloway is a married man.  If he, as Richard, was making the WASPY women postings, that could be more problematic for the “God fearing” voters of his district.  Even more potentially troubling:  Chensvold’s source suggests that Holloway’s administrative assistant was the female “Kipp” character of WASP 101.  That in itself would be innocent unless there was more of a John Edwards or Mark Sanford dynamic at work.  Imagine the derision that would ensue.

I have to say that I am disappointed that WASP 101 was taken down.  Along with many other people, I have more than once been amused by what Richard took to be the essence of good taste.  But I do not revel in a man’s misfortune.  If it is true that Bryan Richard Holloway finds his career ruined or his personal life distrupted over a fantasy world he created on a personal blog,  that would make me sad.  It is also a bit troubling – and amusing at the same time – that someone could so despise a blogger or his pompous behavior or his bad judgment in clothing that he would make it a personal mission to uncover his identity.  This much can be said with certainty:  never post anything on the internet that you would not want connected with you in the future.

POLL:  SHOULD WASP 101 RETURN?  VOTE NOW!

Correction:  In an earlier version of this post, I stated that Christian Chensvold had been contacted by an unnamed New York fashion writer regarding the identity of Richard at WASP 101.  That was incorrect.  I should have stated that he was contacted by an unnamed source.  I have revised my text above accordingly.

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7 thoughts on “WASP 101 Blogger Exposed?

  1. I am in no way a trad or preppy blogger. I own a barbour, I ride english saddle, and I grew up sailing but I also ride mountain bikes, wear jeans, am married to a cowboy and live in a cow-town. I meet somewhere in the middle and so I casually read the preppy blogs here and there. I have been watching the WASP101 drama with great curiosity because I’ve never seen an implosion quite like this in the 20-somethings style blog world. Is this men being ruthless or is this indicative of the culture? I feel like my genre style bloggers might be a little gentler with each other and less private as well.

    The internet, as they say, is written in pen. It is important to be careful on the internet with posting – I realized I needed to be careful with things on my own blog after a person who was on the same airplane as me recognized me and was a devoted reader. It turned out to be a positive experience with that person but I went through every single post I had ever posted and took down a few pictures I wasn’t comfortable with on the internet. I also try really hard not to whine on the internet because I don’t want to be viewed as a snarky, negative person online and in real life. My habits are my character and I understand that as a blogger and offline as well.

    WASP 101 may have problems here for awhile but in reality the people who are going to have the biggest issues with this are the 13 year old tumblr girls who have their pictures and ideas reblogged and reblogged for ever and ever, amen. I am so very lucky that the internet wasn’t around when I was that age because I would have made the exact same mistakes. I tell the teenagers I know exactly that and how much, as an adult, the internet can make or break your life. They don’t believe me but I know they will understand in time and at least they are thinking about it.

    • Elizabeth, thank you for commenting on my post. I do appreciate your viewpoint. You have a terrific blog and have done such a great job with it!

      After posting about the Ivy Style takedown of WASP 101, and particularly after following the responses of Christian Chensvold’s readers, I decided that I would be better off keeping out of the fray. I hope that I can hold myself to that decision. Things have gotten out of hand. A good number of the Ivy Style readers seem genuinely upset with Christian, but others applaud his efforts. This is apparently an old feud, and WASP 101 became the object of many jokes and derisive comments on the internet.

      While Richard was actively posting on WASP 101, I don’t think I ever posted anything in response to him – at least here on my blog – no matter how much I may have disliked some of his clothing choices or opinions. I was amused, sometimes puzzled and occasionally appalled by Richard’s outlandish comments. For example, he has been accused of being sexist and objectifying women with his desirable Wasp women postings. I was simply not interested in his site, but would sometimes visit after reading someone’s rant on Ivy Style just to see what all of the fuss was about.

      In the last few days, there has been a good bit of piling on WASP 101, which was operated by someone who is now clearly embarrassed by having his cover blown – so much so that he has taken down that site and others related to it. I realize how snarky some of my comments in this post may sound, and perhaps I, too, was guilty of piling on. It is never fair to kick someone who is down. You may be right that it was a case of men being ruthless. We would all be well-served to be kinder to one another.

      I especially like this comment of yours: “I also try really hard not to whine on the internet because I don’t want to be viewed as a snarky, negative person online and in real life. My habits are my character and I understand that as a blogger and offline as well.” I think that is very wise, indeed. You’re being real – a genuine person and not a persona that is disconnected. I think one of the reasons people were so irate about Richard was that he was representing himself as something he was not.

  2. Elizabeth makes some very good points. I just discovered the world of Ivy League or “prep” blogs as I searched for sources for high-quality, classic clothing. As a former communications instructor, I am constantly amazed and intrigued with the impact of Internet communication on our news and culture. I don’t recall actually reading Wasp 101 more than once or twice, but I too thought it was satire. Trying to “rebrand” yourself via Internet is a dicey proposition. Trying to be someone you are not seldom works for a sustained period.

    What saddens me – as well as what Elizabeth points out above – is that someone would be so unhappy with their lot in life to try to pose as something they are not.

    • I think the reason WASP 101 folded so quickly was that Richard was the private projection of someone’s class aspiarations. The writer just simply could not take having his make believe world called into question, or else, as a real life politician, realized that his private world might be toxic for his career. In any event, I do agree with you that Richard’s blogging in WASP 101 might have come from a basic unhappiness with who he actually was. That is sad.

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