Here’s a hot take: anything that gets posted onto Instagram, no matter how casual it is, is performative in one way or another
If you’ve been on Instagram recently, you may have noticed the overwhelming amount of seemingly “casual” posts or photo dumps.
This probably stems from the idea of “romanticizing your life,” where the cool girls of TikTok tell us to start taking pictures of anything and everything and start making your life an aesthetic.
Here’s a hot take: anything that gets posted onto Instagram, no matter how casual it is, is performative in one way or another. Personally, I absolutely love the idea of posting whatever you want on Instagram, and I love seeing these kinds of posts since it feels like you’re getting a little glimpse into someone’s camera roll. It definitely keeps my attention more than the hundreds of meticulously posed flics that typically populate my feed. However, it's also important to realize that these casual photos are still just as posed and planned out as they always have been.
Social media can be a toxic place, where seemingly perfect people go to show off their perfect lives and their perfect faces. Comparing yourself to other people and especially trying to reach an ideal aesthetic online is not only exhausting but can be so damaging to your mental health. With the growing popularity of having a casual instagram feed, concerns regarding the falsehood that Instagram posts are 100% genuine and real are also going to rise. Comparing yourself to someone’s level of “coolness” is objectively just as bad as comparing yourself to their physical appearance. The overflow and increase of popularity of “casual” Instagram posts in recent months goes to show that we are all looking to be perceived positively by our followers and follow the latest trends. While this isn’t a bad thing at all, keep in mind that social media is a creative outlet, which means that everything you see is “created.”
In the meantime, you can keep up the “casual” posts, or try this thing that I like to call literally post whatever the hell you want. While you’re at it, select the option to stop displaying like counts — it’s liberating.
Athena Veghte is a Staff Writer at Rowdy Magazine. Some of her favorite things include thrifting, making super specific Spotify playlists, and iced chai tea lattes. She strongly dislikes people that go on their phones during movies. You can find her on instagram at @athenaveghte or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.