Instagram: the media where people post the best versions of themselves, the outlet where the ratio of followers vs following determines your popularity and the place where vanity has its own kingdom. Now, don’t get me wrong. I acknowledge that there are plenty of talented people in Instagram whose posts showcase their skills and peak potential and it’s both mesmerising and motivating to look at. But the number of these posts is almost negligible to the number of posts from “Instagram Influencers”. The moment you start following even one of these influencers, your news feed will be filled with posts about their perfect beauty, aesthetic styles, and brand endorsements. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, physical beauty is superficial and what really matters is who you are on the inside: all this preach-talk mostly comes from ridiculously attractive influencers as they post these as captions underneath their stunning photos on Instagram. Some of these photos have to showcase how good they naturally look, whilst having first exfoliated and moisturized their face.Some of these have to show off some cute and trendy outfits, while they bend and curve their body to look more appealing. And of course, the “candid” photos are a must, in which they will still look picture-perfect. More than half of these gorgeous pictures are taken by a professional photographer or a high resolution phone camera, after spending hours trying to find the right lighting and angles to pose in. Then these photos will be edited using filters and Photoshop to accentuate certain features before uploading it to the feed.
The struggle to look effortless is ironic and in turn, these posts set unreal perceptions in our minds about what is considered to be beautiful. If you’re Kylie Jenner, you definitely have all the time and means to be able to post pictures of yourself, looking flawless and chilling on your patio with a Mimosa in your hand. And if a mere commoner can’t afford to look that good in their posts, they curse their own miserable appearances by being brainwashed by these influencers’ impractical standards of beauty.There is something scintillating about having an aesthetic theme in one’s Instagram feed. A wide shot of frolicking on the beach as the sun goes down, a close-up shot of sitting beside a window while looking over at the view of the city from a five-star hotel, a panorama shot of mountains and lakes; the general public love a good aesthetically pleasing photo. In order to achieve the perfect artistic capture, it is essential to have a good eye for photography and easy access to appealing scenery and locations. Getting the best creative shots don’t really require much more than being able to afford travelling on a monthly basis. And of course, the influencers have to look as humble as possible in the photos for having the luxury of staying at international destinations. Finally, these pictures need to display the ultimate beauty of nature by meddling with the contrast and saturation.It could be possible that, the origin of the term FOMO originated from Instagram. Not everyone’s lives are as exciting as these influencers because they are normal people. This very normalcy stems out envy and misery in common people as they continue to scroll through their feed to see posts of lives that they can only dream to have. These aesthetic pictures not only bring out the “love” from people’s double taps, but they also throw out their appreciation for their own lives.By basically selling their worth and value off to social media through their beauty and aesthetics, Instagram influencers seed out to brands in the hope of a collaboration. Companies follow and run the algorithms of what kind of audience members follow a particular influencer and what their image portrays on social media. If the influencer is young and athletic, they cater more towards gym-conscious people. If the influencer is a beauty guru, their audience absolutely loves makeup. If the influencer reviews food on a daily basis, their followers are all food-lovers. Thus, agencies of specific companies sponsor these influencers to promote their products and brands, make campaign ads and that’s how the majority of Instagram influencers get paid by their posts.
The media has a field day if they get to cover ad campaigns and sponsorships, especially of these Influencers, because the common mass loves to get more content out from them. Some influencers use this power to make a positive impact, while others get publicity out of controversies. For example, our beloved Tahsan Khan, recently made an ad with MyGP about how he learnt sign language to communicate with students in a special school and received countless positive responses on Instagram posts about it. On the other hand, Salman Muqtadir received a lot of hate and also boosted up his Instagram followers by posting a rather controversial picture on Instagram in order to promote his song “Obhodro Prem”.
Yes, we are surrounded by social media and are absolutely dependent on each platform. Influencers will constantly feel the need to be validated and they will post accordingly. And they will receive that validation from us, be it positive or negative, no matter how miserable their posts make us feel about our common lives. The general public eats up anything that’s showcased as glamorous, even if it’s impractical and self-deprecating and Instagram influencers use this to their own benefit.