Who knew Monica Lewinsky, the intern of record, would one day speak for all of us when she tweeted this in early September: “Just realized I am more scared of our government now than I was in 1998. And that’s saying a lot. A. LOT.”
Lewinsky, who has been a quiet force on Twitter since 2014, is recently rocking the sphere, claiming her voice in a very public forum after having been very publicly vilified—albeit before the age of social media. On Twitter, Lewinsky is a kind neighbor and saucy best friend. She dishes on challah recipes. She polls the Twitter abyss on what car she should get: “So very me. Can’t decide between a Subaru or a Tesla.” (It prompted a reply from Elon Musk saying that he’d be happy to give her one, and that she could return it if she wasn’t happy with it.) She’s a girl’s girl. Who knew? The social media platform provides a glimpse into a person who had been rendered as a flat surface for decades by the media. “I lived as a one-dimensional, mutated character for a very long time but I love that people connect to me on social media through these kinds of things,” she tells Vogue over the phone. “And when people connect for other reasons, it quiets those instances.”
Lewinsky seems Twitter-seasoned and breezy: Her banner image reads “Grateful AF.” in slate blue font on a millennial pink background. A segment of her bio reads “ex-beret model,” a reference to an infamous of picture of the young Lewinsky beaming and posing with former President Bill Clinton where she was wearing, yes, a beret. She has just shy of 1 million followers.
But her foray into social media wasn’t an easy one. She says that she was terrified about the prospect of joining the platform. It wasn’t until she spoke about the effects of bullying at a 30 Under 30 conference in 2014 that Forbes chief content officer Randall Lane convinced her to register. “He said ‘Listen, you can’t take up this crusade around online shaming, and online bullying, and these things, if you’re not really in the conversation and you’re just sort of chiming in from the sidelines,’” she says. “And he suggested that I publicly join Twitter.”