I Love How Bad Celebrities Are at Instagram

lindsey lohan

Despite what you may have read in magazines, I regret to inform you that celebrities are not, in fact, like us. I confirmed this recently during a scroll through Instagram when I came across this photo posted by Blake Lively:

As I examined the photo, I jotted down the following mental annotations:

-Poor lighting

-Face is hidden

-Too dark to see if she’s wearing pants or mermaid tail

-Inexplicable swing at a place that is clearly not a playground

-Heavy vignette filter with unnecessary black border

-Over 1 million likes!!!!!!!

It doesn’t take a social media genius to realize that these things don’t add up. If I, noted layperson, were to post a photo on Instagram featuring poor lighting, an obscured face, a possible mermaid tail, a creepy swing and a pothole, I can tell you exactly how many likes I would get. Probably two — one from my mom, if she happens to not misplace her phone that day, and one from my boyfriend, who likes all my Instagrams because I asked him nicely.

Ergo, henceforth and thus, the seed of a theory was planted in the form of a question: Are celebrities bad at Instagram because they never had to be good?

The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. All celebrities have to do is join the app and they are guaranteed thousands, if not millions, of followers (and subsequently, “likes”) by virtue of the fact that they are already famous. They’ve never had to experiment with selfie lighting, or text all their friends to see if their captions are the perfect combination of witty and down-to-earth, or wonder whether they should have posted the funny photo instead of the serious one, or take dozens of options to find the ideal angle. They’ve never had to finesse their craft for likes. Technically speaking, they could just post the first photo they took and the first caption that pops into their heads and poof! Tons of positive feedback.

I started collecting evidence and it came in spades:

Can you imagine posting a photo of the moon where you can’t see the moon, an aerial shot of a sweet potato that looks like it needs medical attention, or a shot that clearly indicates your camera lens needs cleaning, only to then garner thousands of likes and various other affirmations in the form of approving comments and heart emojis? It’s no wonder I unearthed so much evidence. If you’re bad at Instagram and still get showered with likes and praise, why wouldn’t you just keep doing what you’re doing? The cycle is self-reinforcing.

There are notable exceptions to this widespread epidemic — Beyoncé, Tracee Ellis Ross, Busy Philipps, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, to name some. But the vast majority of A-list Instagram accounts I investigated for the purposes of proving my point made my job easy. And I’m not being facetious when I say I really find it sweet. The fact that the most famous people in the world who have access to the best of everything — clothes, makeup artists, gurus, et. al — have no clue how to post an aesthetically sensible Instagram is kind of endearing.

I realize there’s a chance they know they’re bad at it and simply don’t care, or continue to do so ironically, but my personal hunch is that they have no idea. And please — no one tell them.

Photos by Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

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