And why, according to Cazzie David, they’re already exhausting.
always wonder how long we’ll have our Instagram accounts. When I’m 35, am I supposed to still have my posts up from when I was 18? Our social-media profiles will eventually be able to serve as time lapses, but it’s impossible to see anyone actually age on Instagram due to the fact that we all retouch (or some FaceTune. No judgment! O.K. a little bit of judgment) our photos so we look forever 16.
So the only thing that we can actually see change through time on our Instagrams are the ridiculous photo trends, from over saturation to photos of polaroids scattered on a marble counter. Once it was cool to post a photo of empty Diptyque candles being repurposed on a pile of books in your apartment; now it has been replaced with a headless picture of your outfit, more specifically of legs in mom jeans.
Today, the more avant-garde the post the better, in fact, some are so avant-garde that they make literally no sense at all. So for anyone else who has a tough time keeping up with the latest Instagram trends, I’ve compiled a list of everything that’s clearly in for 2017. You can trust me because I shamefully spend hours a day on the app observing people’s behavior and ignoring real life.
If you don’t know what the grain effect is, I assure you you have recently seen it on Instagram. I don’t know when the change occurred but every single person’s account I regularly stalk uses said grain filter to make their photos look “film-like.” The grain filter (found on VSCO), oftentimes used at 100 percent capacity, which in my opinion is a little overboard, makes any new iPhone photo, from a candid to a landscape, look like it was taken on a film camera in the 1940s.
It’s fairly obvious when the filter is being used, since it’d be virtually impossible to get that good of a selfie angle on a Leica camera, let alone expect anyone to have the skills or patience to develop their Instagrams in a darkroom. People have even been going as far as to put their videos through apps that make them look like security footage or VHS tapes.
1A. BAD QUALITY PHOTOS
Once upon a time, posting a bad quality or blurry photo was unacceptable on Instagram. Now, for some insane reason, the worse the quality of the photo, the artsier it looks. I’m a big fan of this trend, since most photos I take come out inherently shitty. Plus if photos now look better when they’re worse, maybe I was hot in high school.
2. A STILL FROM A COOL, OLD MOVIE FEATURING AN ESTABLISHED ACTOR WHEN THEY WERE YOUNGER
This is a trend used to prove one’s cultured palate and vast film knowledge, or in my humble opinion their pretension. Screenshots with subtitles that range from Pulp Fiction to Sex and the City. Other common ones I’ve seen include a simple photo of Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, or a beautiful, unknown actress smoking a cigarette in a towel. You may be thinking you’ve seen this with a photo of Audrey Hepburn. This is not one of these examples, Audrey stills were a trend in 2015.
3. THE D.G.A.F. SELFIE
The selfie has continued to evolve since it first horrified us with its presence. There was a time when selfies were weird to post if you were alone; now it’s weird to be in a selfie not alone. The old selfie was taken from an above bird’s-eye-view angle; the new selfies are taken from below with what I can only believe is an edited-out double chin. Grained (No. 1) selfies in the driver’s seat of a parked car with your hand touching some part of your face is the prime example of the new D.G.A.F. selfie, despite it looking like you’re stressed out for an exam tomorrow.
3A. THE SIDEWAYS/UPSIDE-DOWN SELFIE
Tip: if your selfie looks too basic and not of the time, flipping it onto its side or upside down seems to be a quick fix in sustaining your new obscure identity.
Some trends are timeless like videos of girls boxing, and trying to be as naked in an Instagram as possible without getting reported. The only thing that’s changed is that now it’s only cool when your naked posts look French A.F. Butt pics seem to be in for the long haul, therefore in 2017 belfies need to have some kind of “creative” take on them. Take Kendall Jenner’s latest butt Instagram.
Doesn’t make sense does it? Exactly. Confusing your followers is the latest tactic in not getting crap for posting a straight-up photo of your bare ass. So don’t be disoriented if most of the photos you’re seeing on Instagram nowadays look like they were meant to be sent to a guy they’re hooking up with late at night. It’s purposeful.
5. ZOOM CULTURE
The zoom feature, once used only by moms who don’t know how to use iPhones, is now a staple technique in creating an Instagram as alternative as you are. The “quirkiest” selfies of the moment are the one’s that are so zoomed in that it can’t fit your entire face, frequently only showing one side or just lips and a single eye. I, alas, can’t participate in the incredibly zoomed face selfie because I’m much too flawed up close. But zoom culture is taking over and is used for pictures of just about anything: a bloody cut, a banana, a bruise. It’s pretty disgusting but gaining popularity. For example, delicious-looking food Instagrams are out, however a zoomed-in picture of a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos is in. Why? Because everyone is trying to be a moody weirdo, and it’s an epidemic.
6. BLACK & WHITE
Black and white photos are the new ocean and sunsets, a guaranteed modern fix for your Instagram page that screams, “I’m laid-back, dark, and complicated.”
7. LOOKING LIKE YOU DON’T HAVE YOUR SHIT TOGETHER.
It used to be that you only showed your manic tendencies on Twitter, but it leaked onto Instagram and now everyone is biting at the opportunity to show visual representation of their personal insanity. A selfie featuring messy hair and last night’s makeup is somehow followed up with a post displaying a very expensive skin care regimen. I’m so confused I can’t even make fun of it. But maybe that’s the point?
It used to be that posting multiple photos from one outing was showing too much vulnerability. Who wants to admit that you made someone take more than one photo of you? Apparently, everyone. Honesty is the new not giving an F. Posting three photos in a series with barely the slightest difference in pose or face garners more likes than if it were just one. By posting multiple photos from a single shoot you’re showing that you’re more photogenic than the general population because you looked good in several of them.
9. THE KIRAKIRA APP
This is such a new trend I questioned even putting it in but it has gained so much traction in a matter of days that it was necessary. KiraKira is a new app that adds a superfluous sparkle to everything it detects in your photo/video. Forget expensive diamonds; KiraKira will make not only your teeth sparkle but also your KKW highlight. I’m sure they’ll sell it as a filter to Instagram or Snapchat soon, but I’m already dreading the New Year’s Eve KiraKira videos of party dresses. Please look at these videos to see how ridiculous it is.
10. EYE BAG RETOUCHING
This might just be me, but one day I posted a picture of myself that I later realized featured my eye bags far too prevalently. To try and make myself feel better about it, I looked through about 30 other girls’ Instagram accounts searching high and low to see if anyone else also had a photo where their eye bags showed. It was a dark day to discover that no one admits to having eye bags anymore. They must be blurred out because eye bags are just as much a part of the body as an elbow is. Right? You wouldn’t retouch having a nose? Or is it possible that some people really don’t have lines under their eyes? Retouching eye bags is either the biggest secret trend there is on Instagram, or completely nonexistent and I’m the only one who has them.
In a few years from now we’ll look back on our time lapses and fondly remember the days when we posted lattes, neon signs, and zooms. “Ahh we were so naive,” we’ll say. Although I have zero idea for what could possibly come next. So, thank you, Instagram, for making your app a constant challenge, and giving us an outlet to fake our creativity and express ourselves, all in the same way.