My endless scroll often consists of paper-thin and tanned people and influencers, frolicking in Bali in designer swimwear. Perfectly-posed pictures show off their “best” features, beckoning you to join them in their made-up fantasy lives.
Okay, stop it, Jason!
I don’t have anything against the “fake” influencers anymore because, underneath, we are all the same, and they are entertaining. Shouldn’t we be all-inclusive and include all body types and life situations when we talk about positivity? How can we say we love people of all kinds when we demean thin, fit, and “beautiful” people to boost our message?
My Instagram feed is a combination of thin and fat influencers. I love cisgender and straight couples as much as I like LGBTQ people.
I am slightly obsessed with two kinds of folks right now — travelers and people with tattoos. Tattooed travelers light my fire.
I even follow several goth-type people because I love their style and anyone who can rock a black overcoat and Doc Martens in summer is my hero.
I also like other real people who make me laugh and cry. I like people who are closer to the real-life average. Who dare to enjoy their lives and refuse to be less than because there are haters offended by bodies with sagging moobs and stretch marks. They live despite the fat-phobic, homophobic, misogynist, ableist, racist, and sexist incels and trolls.
The thing about it is — all bodies and people are good. I love seeing curvy and full-figured women on the beach in revealing swimwear and much as I love a thin woman sweating it up in a gym. I like getting a peek into the lives of well-muscled, bearded gods, as much as I do the 400lb guy showing off his 100lb weight loss for the camera.
I love seeing the life of a struggling creative as much as a CEO posing at her desk with a Rolex.
The things that most people hate about Instagram I love. I love duck-lipped blondes with sportscars and impeccably-posed brunches on the savannah. I love people wearing gobs of makeup as much as I love a more natural look. I love seeing the broke influencers posing on fake private jets with champagne and stacks of 100 dollar bills because they think it will get them more likes.
Even more than body types I see every day, I love the real lives of these people. More than posed pictures in exotic locations, I look for the imperfectly perfect moments in our days.
These are the posts without 100 #hashtags at the end, and never more than one filter.
These are the solo woman traveling the American west — writing and sleeping in AirBnB’s. They are also a disabled father and mother suffering from depression, giving their child the happiest life ever.
You will also find more writers sharing their poetry and lives filled with books and word processors. I like to see accountability videos and family outings. I love the hilarious mother who says FUCK a lot and makes me laugh-spit my coffee at least once a day.
I love the wannabees, the wantrepreneurs, and the micro-influencers. I love the single and happy powerlifters. I even like to see my friends who are sex writers being naughty, even when I have to explain to my wife why my feed is full of naked people.
I love the real parts of life — the pimples and the stretch marks, the unpolished pitches, and the off-the-cuff comedy. I love the family photos where no one smiles, and the delicious images of what you feasted on for dinner last night, even if I would never eat it.
I like dogs and cats and nature pictures. I want to see the view outside your window this morning, and the daisies you saw when you went for a walk.
And, in case you think no one appreciates you, I love every damn selfie you post, from the drive-thru at Taco Loco to standing in the bathroom with the toilet behind you.
Do you know what we need to see more of on Instagram? Real people, real life, real situations. We already have plenty of the staged poses and perfect makeup; we need to see more of the ones in harsh sunlight with a butt-cheek hanging out at the beach.
Every body-type is beautiful, so strip off the layers and show that skin! Don’t just show us what you look like made-up, show us what you look like 30 seconds after you open your eyes. Don’t show us your meal before you eat it; show the after-belly and the sauce you dripped on your white T-shirt.
I want to see two bearded dudes with beer-bellies kissing in the moonlight in Paris and the real-life Ken and Barbie rushing through O’Hare. I want to see the pictures of all their kids when they get home.
I can’t get enough reality.
Remember when reality was good? Pay attention, Instagrammers!