Question: what do you do when you go viral for delaying a flight 30 minutes while you enjoy an oyster dinner? Answer: lean into it. Hard. Oysters are your brand now.
Last week, Byron Bay influencer Ruby Tuesday Matthews held up a JetStar flight to Sydney while she enjoyed an oyster dinner, posting about it to her 200,000 Instagram followers.
She claimed not to have heard the announcement to stay at the airport while a mechanical issue was fixed, but that excuse didn’t go down too well with her fellow passengers, who heckled her to no end when she made it back on board.
Ruby’s airport snafu made headlines – including at PEDESTRIAN.TV – because it is just the most influencer shit imaginable. Byron Bay? Oysters? Inconveniencing others? That’s the trifecta right there.
But since media coverage, Ruby has leaned in to the oyster thing, making it part of her brand.
After landing in Sydney, she dined at Otto Ristorante, posting a photo of her oysters to her Instagram story with the hashtag #oystergate. (And shout-out to the Daily Mail for working out these oysters cost $9 each.)
PR queen Roxy Jacenko then posted a photo saying she was “off for oysters”, tagging Ruby in the post.
Next minute, dozens of people started posting their own oysters with the hashtag #oystergate, tagging Ruby in. The influencer has collected them all into an #oystergate Instagram story highlight.
“Ruby made me do it,” one person said on their story, posting a pic of their oysters. (Side note: how many times can you write and/or say the word ‘oysters’ before it loses all meaning? Because I think I’m almost at the limit.)
Last night she flew back to Byron, and what was the first thing she posted? Oysters.
Look – let’s not pretend this is anything it’s not. It’s not a huge brave campaign in the face of ‘bullying’ or whatever. It was a selfish act, and while Ruby didn’t deserve to be heckled on the flight, her fellow passengers also didn’t deserve to be delayed by another 30 minutes because they listened to instructions and she didn’t.
But it must be said: I’m kind of enjoying the way she’s leaning in to the public condemnation. Touché.