My morning routine goes like this; I roll over, grab my phone, and hit play on Shane Dawson’s latest YouTube video. His weirdly funny videos always make me laugh uncontrollably. He's original and entertaining, and by the end of his video, I’m usually wide-awake and ready to get my day going.
Since there was nothing new from Shane this morning, I found myself watching one of those drama YouTube channels instead (another guilty pleasure of mine). The topic was originality and copy cat content creators.
That got me thinking about the Instagram community and how much of what we’re seeing is fake. Recently, Instagrammer Amelia Liana has been under a lot of scrutiny for fabricating her travel photos and Photoshopping busy landmarks like the Taj Mahal, where it’s seen without the scaffolding and usual crowds. A lot of people are angry that her picture perfect depictions aren’t reflective of real life and I don’t blame them. I recall a photo she posted a while back in a beautiful blue gown in a New York cross walk with nearly empty streets - an unusual moment for NY, even at 7 am which according to her caption, is when she captured the moment. I paused on her photo and found myself wondering how she was able to get nearly-empty street shot from one of the world’s busiest and over populated cities. Upon closer inspection, even the sky has been clearly edited to “match her feed”. Whether or not she photoshops herself in front of landmarks, and how chooses to edit her photos is totally up to her. It’s apparent that a lot of thought and planning goes into her photos and that she’s very happy with her work as an influencer. She even addressed the Photoshopping allegations on her blog and the words “I’m sorry” are nowhere to be found.
I’ve been following Amelia on IG for a couple of months now, curious to see if I’d be inspired by her dreamy travel photos. Instead, I’ve found myself genuinely confused by her elaborately expensive, picture-perfect life but maybe it’s because I’m not her audience and her content doesn’t speak to me. Only a small percentage of the population is able to live such an extravagant life of first class travel and designer shopping and while yes, it’s part of her job, I started to wonder, what life would be like after Instagram? What if she had to get a 9-5 job and what would her potential employer think of her based on her feed? What does that mean for the rest of us smaller influencers and are we making ourselves unemployable by living out these highly curated lives online?
It’s interesting to think about these things and put it into perspective. It’s important to remember that Instagram isn’t real life, and often what we’re seeing is a well-curated version of the way someone lives. In a sense, it’s kind of like the movies with fantasy, unicorns, and cotton candy coloured skies. I for one have an aversion to IG accounts that are too show-offy, that promote excess, and over consumption. My favourite accounts inspire me to style the same piece of clothing in a ton of different ways and inspire me to buy a new lip balm because they product knowledge to back up their endorsements. Or in the instance of Shane Dawson, they're just flat out funny and that’s fine too.
WHAT I'M WEARING
ZARA rattan bag, striped top and zippered jeans.
SAINT LAURENT metallic striped platforms.
HERMES and ALEXANDER McQUEEN bracelets.