My last blog post about millennials inspired me to venture a little deeper into our current fascination with defining ourselves.
This post will exclusively cover the social media platform Instagram. I believe that the ability to capture an idea or message through a photo makes this platform so unique.
If you’ve spend enough time on Instagram, you’ve seen various accounts belonging to bloggers, tv personalities, musicians, beauty gurus, and even some purely dedicated to food. A follower-count is readily available and those with the most followers, for example an account like Kylie Jenner’s, features some type of pattern or theme among the photos. Cool tones, close-ups, and glamour shots fill our screens. These themes vary across accounts, but one thought remains – how do I get my pictures like that?
On a deeper level, what are these photos doing to us? No, I don’t mean just seeing a girl in a bathing suit here. Her tan, her stomach, the environment behind her… is it attainable? Will it make us happy?
While some people see a swimsuit ad as purely an ad, we cannot speak for those unable to separate illusion from reality. Some of us can imagine the time, makeup, editing, and hundreds of shots that may have happened to make this one photo – while others may not.
How many times do we take shot after shot and edit ourselves for this “perfect” image? In my opinion, our culture is a culture of illusion.
A new hobby of mine has been makeup, and over the last few months, I’ve discovered a few YouTube beauty gurus who give me ideas and reviews on new products and techniques.
Just this morning, I watched a video that just plain turned me off. The guru’s makeup was accurately applied and the colors were complimentary, but to me, it was such a stretch from true beauty. On the other hand, makeup is a hobby and form of expression. Everyone’s interpretation of beauty is different, and rightfully so, but I couldn’t help but imagine sixth graders applying their false lashes and bronzer, falsely believing that this was the only path to true beauty.
Are we aiming for art, beauty, or like-ability? We cannot answer for anyone but ourselves.