Point. Click. Filter. Share. Destroy.
Point. Click. Filter. Share. 4 simple actions and you have injected a moment of your life into the social media stratosphere. Amazing isn't it? We are developing some sort of hive mind super conscious by all having access to these tools. One tool that is on the forefront of this social media wakening is is the phenomena known as, you guessed it, Instagram. It is the quickest way to add to the aesthetic of this new-found connected culture...
...and is also the most destructive tool to the mindset of the individual.
OK, so I'm sure by now you think you know where this post is going. "Instagram promotes unobtainable expectations of beauty". Yeah, I'm not going to argue with that. We've been dealing with that for a while. Magazines have been photoshopping models for decades. Hell airbrushing has been around pretty much as long as there have been printed publications. As soon as we have had the tools to manipulate photos, the 1st thing that they are used for is to manipulate the human body, to conform it to the beauty standards of the present day.
We already know this. It may have taken the general public sometime to work this out, but they did. The fact that "photoshopped" is a common term used by the public (and not just geeky graphic designers such as myself) is evidence for this very awareness. We have accepted this as a reality, and culturally, we were healing from it. We were no longer applying these representations to ourselves.
But then came instagram.
Point. Click. Filter. Share. So simple. But, why are we once again applying these standards of beauty we see on instagram. Weren't we as a society moving passed that?
It's all in the "insta" part of the name. That instant ability to wire a photo with a message like a telegram (now you know where the "gram" comes from). It has created a distorted idea on how instagram works. Because the delivery mechanism is SO simple. It has hi-jacked our perceptions and re-opened this old wounds in our culture. The majority of us use the app as it was intended, quick snaps, uploaded. Boom. We may throw on a filter, but seems that everyone has access to these, no one is fooled by them. The issue comes these "instagram models" use the app as it was not intended. They remove the "insta".
If its not professional lighting, re touching, manipulation or professional photography, its the amount of photos they take. If you were to take 100 photos of anyone you're likely to get 1 or 2 good ones. If we begin to think rationally about these things, we are able to apply the "magazines are photoshopped" mindset. But because the medium is so accessible, and so quick for the rest of us to use, our perceptions are distorted. We can't auto regulate the idea that everything we see in these people lives are is perfectly staged through hours of effort that most of us don't have. This is causing a ripple through the aesthetic of the culture and uncovering issues that we were SO CLOSE to being culturally passed. This is a very old problem delivered to you in your blindside, to re establish itself as a mass insecurity to media consuming individuals. We are reincorporating this flaw into our new connected collective. A collective consciousness that we are trying to create harmony through, rather than a FURTHER disconnect from what is real and virtual.
So next time you look at your 14 likes even though your #lululemon covered #shesquats #ass was on point. Remember this. Sure, you may not have 12,691 likes from 1.8 million followers. Your likes, on average, require less effort than each of those. And with that lack of effort put into said likes you have had time to have a life. One that doesn't just look awesome on a screen.
Alpha Ya Bish