Serena Kerrigan does good internet. The 25-year-old New York native, otherwise known as “SFK: The Queen of Confidence,” creates seemingly endless streams of content across myriad platforms. She’s a producer and host at Refinery29. She’s got a new YouTube series in the works called Ask Serena, in which she uses her past experiences with anxiety and doubt to serve as a kind of self-love how-to for the youth—because Queens of Confidence aren’t always born; sometimes they’re made. Her Instagram feed serves as a 24/7 channel where you can get up close and personal with all things Kerrigan. Workouts, check. Hangovers, check. Mirror selfies, check. Generally hysterical missives and asides, check and check. Kerrigan is radiant, effervescent, everywhere.
For the kickoff of SIXTY Hotels’ Summer Reading Club, we tapped Kerrigan to bring some of her fire URL presence to SIXTY LES IRL. The consummate extrovert will lead a discussion in Sally Rooney’s Normal People, arguably one of the most buzzed about novels of the season. Join her poolside from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. while she helps dissect this sexy coming-of-age romance. For details and to RSVP, click here. Until then, read on. Below, Kerrigan talks Venmo stalking, voice-over gigs pre-puberty, and bringing Jane Austen back from the dead for a v important drink.
Place of origin:
Upper West Side.
Current place of residence:
Lower East Side—see what I did there?
Host & Producer at Refinery29.
First job you ever had:
I played the voice of Alicia on the Nickelodeon series Go Diego Go until I went through puberty and they fired me because my voice got too deep.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
To continue to be as happy and fulfilled as I am right now.
Quote to live by:
“Life is too short not to love yourself.”
Least favorite part of your day:
Coming to terms with the fact that I’ve hit snooze five times in a row and that it’s time to wake the fuck up!
Windows down, the song you’re playing is:
“Roses” by The Chainsmokers. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of that song.
Three guilty pleasures:
I was going to say masturbating but I’m not particularly guilty about admitting that. So how about… Juuling, the birthday cake shake from Milk Bar, and stalking people’s Venmo transactions.
If you had to watch one movie on repeat for eternity, what would it be?
A short film I made in high school called Freshman. It was the first time I produced, wrote, directed, and edited anything. I won Best Film at our film festival and I remember how proud I was to have created something of that caliber all by myself. So if I had to choose, I would replay that film forever so I never forget how far I’ve come since that film (’cause it’s pretty bad) and the immense passion I have for storytelling. If there is one thing my parents taught me, it is to find what you love to do and master it.
Personal travel ethos:
Make reservations in advance. Say yes to everything. Immerse yourself in the culture. Don’t stress about not seeing everything; it gives you a reason to visit again!
Drink of choice:
I love mezcal but for some reason every time I drink it my entire body gets covered in hives. It’s tragic. So I opt for Red Bull vodka (sugar-free). Quite the contrast, I know.
What is the best news you ever received?
The day I graduated high school, the dean of admissions from a university called saying that he had a graduation gift for me. It was a letter of acceptance from Duke.
Who or what is largely overrated? Explain.
Follower count on Instagram. It’s not about quantity; it’s about quality. That’s why I always say #CommentsAreCurrency. How many of your followers are actively engaging with your content?
Briefly describe the best concert you have ever gone to.
Watch the Throne. I went with my best friend Tom, as the guest of an executive of MTV. We were stoned out of our minds only to find out that we would be meeting Kanye West minutes before the concert began. I remember that he was dressed in head-to-toe Louis Vuitton. He said, “I’m Kanye West.” I was like, Oh yes I know who you are. The whole experience was otherworldly and not just because I was high!
Where do you go for inspiration, peace of mind?
My grandmother lives on a tiny island called Miscou, which is located on the northeastern tip of New Brunswick in Canada. There is something so magical about the island because it’s very remote and untouched. My Nana has a little cottage right on the water. There’s no cell service. It’s just a beautiful escape from reality. Only roughly five hundred people live on the island and I’m related to about ten percent of them. We even have a road named after us!
First book you remember ever reading:
When I was seven, my mom began teaching me about the Holocaust through a graphic novel called Maus by Art Spiegelman. It depicts the author interviewing his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor. The work employs postmodernist techniques and represents Jews as mice, Germans as cats, and Poles as pigs. Even though I was so young, I remember vividly how much terror I felt. I was so scared of the Nazis that I asked my mom, “Where are we going to hide when they come back?”
Book you read and reread as a child:
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
Book you would have preferred to set on fire than read when you were growing up:
Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I tried to con my dad into reading it “with” me and “helping” me write an English paper on it. LOL. I failed.
Books currently on your bedside table:
How to Murder Your Life: A Memoir by Cat Marnell and Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.
Favorite place to read:
On the beach, preferably with a Miami Vice in hand!
Book you think best captures New York City, or at least your version of it:
Gossip Girl. My mom’s name is Lily, so you could say Gossip Girl was based off my life. And I look just like Blake Lively, right? 😉
Book everyone should have read by now:
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Once upon a time I was at a club and saw Leo DiCaprio (who plays Gatsby in the film) puffing an e-cigarette that glowed green. I took a shot, walked over to him, and whispered in his ear, “I can see the green light,” and blacked out immediately after. If you didn’t pick up on that reference, then it’s time for you to read the book.
Author, dead or alive, who you’d like to sit down and have some sort of beverage with:
Jane Austen. I love her novels because of how timeless they are. Even though women have made immense strides since the time of Emma Woodhouse and Elizabeth Bennet, I still find their characters so relatable as women who grapple with insecurities, economic inequalities, and the pressure to conform to society’s norms and expectations.
If you wrote a novel, what would it be about?
I’ve been writing about my love life in a Juicy Couture diary since my first kiss. No joke. Coming to a bookstore near you in 2025.