Gone are the days of the perfect Instagram aesthetic. I’ve seen profiles move away from the perfectly curated feeds focused around the same color scheme or aesthetic and I think it’s about damn time. Over the last year, more and more celebrities and Instagram influencers have been exposed for creating a false narrative around body positivity and their lifestyle. These portrayals of an inauthentic self are so damaging to a younger audience and I’m happy the internet is slowly moving away from “perfection” and creating more accepting communities.
The Rise of TikTok
I really believe the catalyst to this change is partially driven by the rise of TikTok. Even Vine which debuted in 2012 still had a way of creating very curated videos, people lipsynced to songs, and the stars on the platform created comedy shorts with scripted narratives. It wasn’t authentic and I think it’s telling that it’s technically no more. But over the last year, TikTok has seen a huge rise in popularity and I feel as though the stars (at least the ones in my feed) are all authentically themselves.
I think watching TikTok creators make videos outside in very public places is a testament to how people aren’t afraid to share their imperfect lives. They aren’t afraid to take photos or dance in public.
Vulnerability on the Internet
TikTok is a great platform to share your quirky side, and speak your opinions, that type of content thrives on the app, being vulnerable about mental health, and your not-so-great days has propelled creators to the top. Relating to others I think is something we were all deprived up for far too long during the pandemic and I attribute part of some creator’s success to that lack of personal connection.
The authentic vulnerability and relatability is something I think Instagram has lacked since the rise of the influencer and something I wish it found quicker. There is still so much division over body acceptance, and what opinions should be shared on the internet. During BLM I can’t tell you how many people I saw post nasty comments sent to them by “followers” because they shared their support. Instagram is growing but it’s still a place for internet trolls bullies and suppression.
But seeing a glimmer of authenticity in people’s feeds gives me hope that we’re turning a new leaf. I love seeing body positivity accounts sharing the secrets of posing(https://dollfacediaries.com/how-to-pose-for-pictures-like-a-supermodel/), how regular people style runway looks or videos of people of different sizes wearing the same look to show fit and their personal styling. I have also loved the vulnerability of talking about mental health, sex, and health procedures that often go untalked about. It’s so important to give these topics a positive light and show that they are normal and shouldn’t be hidden. Dealing with acne in adulthood, infertility, issues with intimacy in the bedroom, and also talking about your feelings and mental health are topics that until recently people dealt with in silence. We need platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and blogs to create safe spaces for people to learn from other’s experiences and feel like they aren’t alone.
It’s time for social media platforms to take the shift away from perfection and move toward acceptance and community. I love seeing the authentic content on TikTok and think it’s so important for Instagram to also take a step away from the curated travel photos, and perfect luxurious lifestyles and share more content from our real authentic selves.