The Problem With Davey Wavey


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Everyone’s favorite self-love advice video blogger Davey Wavey just interviewed Olympic gold medal winning diver Matthew Mitcham about jumping into the water from a great height and winning awards for it. First things first, this is a fundamentally dreadful interview in general, let alone with Mitcham. Davey Wavey squanders the chance at real questions, preferring instead to ask about someone else’s ass and making sure he gives a whole lot of air time to his own body under the guise of attempting dives – because his body is his calling card and that’s fine – he looks great naked, and if you’ve got it, flaunt it.

The fact is, I’m not so interested in any interview with Matthew Mitcham anyway, but that’s just me, and it’s understandable if people are interested. After all, Mitcham’s a great diver, and he looks great in a speedo. Cool, done.

There’s just always been something about Davey Wavey that really infuriates me and I am going to try and articulate why right now.

For starters, all his affected, cutesy bullshit (starting with his infantile nickname) and faux spiritual virtue is really just a common technique people use to establish a kind of dominance over others.  Vegan martyrs do it at parties all the time. It places them beyond reproach. In this instance, I think it’s his way of passively demanding that you fall in love with him so he can have control and be, in his own mind, superior because of that. I’m speaking about an abstract kind of “falling in love”; not literal love.

Davey Wavey’s content is such that he is a sort of by-default self help guru, and the result of that is that he’s polarizing. On the one hand, he has his followers who love him and, on the other, you have the people who hate him and, if they don’t just outright say it, they tend to feel all this guilt about it like there’s something wrong with them, because they don’t like someone who is really just cute and who talks about self acceptance and health.

Then there’s always that boring, defensive criticism that if you don’t like him or his culture, then you just want to prevent others from being happy and successful because, obviously, you aren’t capable of happiness or success and you’re jaded. I mean, what’s wrong with you that you can’t like someone named Davey Wavey?

Well, what’s wrong with you is that you probably just don’t like being patronized by a narcissistic, self appointed life coach whose simplistic, Carrie Bradshaw-esque insight and false modesty mask a guy who appears to live in a cultural vacuum.

It’s not hard to conclude that Davey Wavey would have had a pretty easy time feeling important and wanted in the gay community, what with that bangin’ body of his which leads to me wonder exactly what he’s experienced and how he’s qualified to be giving out advice about self love and acceptance in the first place. What great leap of self development has he gone through that gave him the insight he so benevolently shares with us?

It’s great that he’s a qualified fitness instructor and has turned that into a business, but the other stuff is just convenient padding that becomes difficult to stomach. You can see it all in his marketing imagery with all that insistent use of his body and face to lure people in and make his life improvement content seem less empty. It’s all just one huge attempt at being adored by people in a really removed way, and he bolsters that effort by being this kind of cutesy professional optimist who is beyond reproach precisely because he’s cutesy and an optimist.

What would make him interesting to me is if he actually got some kind of psychology qualification and/or studied journalism so he could extend what I’m sure is a well-meaning vlog into something that goes beyond a grab at attention and a catering to the lamest components of gay culture and marketing. Of course gay culture loves a super cute, un-challenging optimist with vague ideas about self improvement and a penchant for talking about his own masturbation techniques. I guess it would just be great if his particular brand of emptiness wasn’t QUITE so marketable.

The interesting thing about writing this post is that I feel all this pressure to say healthy things like “Hey, whatever though, let him be happy” and “He’s just trying to be inspirational” and “Yes, I totally admit that I’d love to see him naked” just to protect myself from the criticism that I’m jaded or bitter because I find him aggravating and that must say a lot about my own guilt or self esteem.

The thing is, I’d rather be me than him any day. I, myself, would feel pretty lonely and empty up in there; in his upscale minimalist apartment, standing in front of a mirror, under halogen lights, in the silence, knowing that there are a hundred thousand people who would kill to come over at any moment and have sex with him, but knowing he’s better than every single one of them, so they’ll never be allowed to. Everything is in place, yet still, there’s something not quite right, and no one must ever know about it.

And you know what? Maybe his life IS great, and he’s not secretly angry, and he isn’t a control freak; maybe he’s not any of those things. I guess I just resent that through even seeing his videos, I’m relegated to a subjugated spot on his hierarchy, and I’m made to feel like I am somehow bitter for not buying into it.

Charley Flynn.

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