Ever since EssenaGate, a veritable deluge of articles analysing the 'faux reality' of Instagram have sprung up- not only in the big ole' blogosphere- but in 'trad' media too. As ever, I'm late to the party. But I wanted to weigh in with a few thoughts, nonetheless. So here goes.
What You See Isn't What You Get
The pictures you see here are ones I took myself. I haven't posted them on IG yet, but I might do. (I try not to 'double-up' too much on images as it can get a bit Boris Boreoff). You're probably thinking- 'Hang on, has she gone and got an Acne Raya now? Lucky bitch. She probably bought it with that PPI money she doesn't stop banging on about'. But wait. Oh no, she hasn't bought a Raya. She actually just flatlayed her year old H&M cardi and artfully arranged the Acne label off her Skin 5s on top of it. Sound that faux klaxon. Loud. Your brain and the image were telling you one thing, but the 'reality' wasn't real. (Unless you're massively adept at spotting a Raya at fifty paces, in which case, props to you). Is it morally dubious to try and suggest that something from H&M has all the caché and luxeyness of something way more expensive from Acne? Probably. But it sure as hell makes the image more......lookable. And it certainly gives it- shall we say- a lot more Instagram leverage. *NB I did actually post a version of this pic on IG yesterday- and guess what?- it smashed it out the park. Which goes to prove.....summat or other).
I Grammed It My Way
So, how real is my Insta? Well, on the Essena Faux Scale, I'd say it's about a 9. (10 being as faux as you can go). Do I sit around cross-legged all day on a piece of white card wearing trainers? Nope. Do I artfully grab at black coffee placed at the perfect angle on a marble table-top? Nope. Do I stand in the street, pidgeon-toed, staring endlessly at the watch on my overly-tanned wrist? No, I do not. So, why why why am I actually doing this shit? Am I trying to make priddy pictures? I sure am. But to what end? Essena earned hundreds of dollars off each of her grams. Do I earn a single penny? No, sadly I don't. Do I ever even get sent anything to promo? Nope, not that either. Every day I hope beyond hope that a nice brand- you know- the ones that everyone else get sent stuff from- will hit me up. But they never do. I've kind of accepted it now. (She said). Some girls are like the Pied Piperesses of IG. I'm deffo not one of them. Keep working, keep hacking away, and maybe something 'good' will happen, I tell myself. And if this is all getting a bit woe is me- apologies. I can only really admire Essena all the more for walking away from the money-making machine she had going on.
Rinstragram v Finstagram
So, if it sounds like I'm about to 'do' an Essena and flounce off- you're spot on. I cannot tell you how sick I am of the backaches, the fake-tanning, the desperate scrabble to create more storage on my phone, the stress of hitting my target to gram twice a day, every day. The hope as I tag that maybe, just maybe, this time I'll get an RG. The pathetic game I play to try and hit 100 likes in twenty minutes. (Still my aim, still haven't reached it). The bitterness and jealously that eats me up everytime I see another
rival peer getting a lovely gift from a lovely brand, or thousands of likes for another tagless pic. I never even used to think I was that ugly until I got on IG- but I now I know my face repulses people- and makes them unfollow- I'm assured of that fact. Quite frankly, I don't like what I've become. I'm not naturally someone who has a chip on their shoulder, or is jell of all and sundry, but I'm fast going down that road. To that end- yes I wanna quit. But I also know that the one day off I've taken in a whole year of gramming (after the Paris attacks, coz to me it didn't feel right to post) made me miss IG terribly. Even.After.One.Fucking.Day. (#theaddictionisreal) Perversely, I also wanna start another account- a 'rinstagram'- to post the reality of my life. The mundanity of it in all its glory. (For me- 'Fakestagram' sums up my current gram, and 'Realstagram' would be my new reality- although I appreciate I may have that arse about face). Not an original idea obvs, but it might be a way to help me reset and stop chasing my tail and hating on everything. We'll see.
How's IG treating you lately? Lemmie know xx PS Soz if this a downer
Cardigan- H&M//Watch- ASOS