Barbie is officially better at Instagram than I am. And maybe you, too.
Over the weekend, two of my friends sent me links to Socality Barbie on Instagram – a Pacific Northwest girl just living her most #authentic life. (Confession: I did not even know what Socality was until this parody account.)
Socality Barbie’s life is a living issue of Kinfolk, meant to poke fun at how homogenous everyone’s #liveauthentic photos are. It’s a parody, and it’s also completely one of those “funny because it’s true” things.
Admit it: you’ve seen (or taken) some of these photos. I know I have, often because I see other bloggers posting them and think, “I love that! I want to do it!” Case it point: the ice-cream mani/wall shot.
The Socality Barbie take:
And my take:
I think the fact that it’s melting on my hand adds total #authentic vibes, don’t you? But in all seriousness, we can learn a thing or two from Socality Barbie and her highly stylized, #liveauthentic Instagram.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of posting something because it’s pretty and you know it will get likes (see: ice cream photo above, flower + shoe shots at the farmer’s market, etc.) Because Instagram is an almost entirely visual medium, developing your aesthetic is key. One way to do that is by looking at what other people are posting and trying it out for yourself. In fact, this is a fantastic way to develop almost any creative skill, from writing to photography to blogging. Trying other styles on for size will eventually lead you to something unique and original to your voice. Wasn’t it Picasso who said, “Good artists copy. Great artists steal”?
So, yeah, Socality Barbie’s flat lay is better than mine. She also has cooler shoes. But I don’t think she’s representative of “everything wrong with social media” (as ABC News put it in their clickbait headline) because I don’t think there’s anything inherently evil in presenting the best, most curated version of our lives on social media. One of the best compliments I ever got was when someone told me I look like a “living Instagram.”
Socality Barbie is fun and funny and, yes, pretty to look at. Because I think, if we’re honest, we’d all much rather look at that in our Instagram feeds than “everyday life.” Maybe just not to the #blessed extreme Socality Barbie takes it to – and that’s precisely what makes it parody.
The Atlantic has another great take on the account, if you want to read more. What are your thoughts on Socality Barbie and the reality (or not) of social media, and Instagram specifically?
Images: Instagram via Socality Barbie, my account.