You probably have an Instagram account that looks like this, or know at least one person whose Instagram does:
Am I right?
Social media, in this case Instagram, started out as a way for people to post what was going on in their lives that was so cool, new, or unique. But that's not exactly the case now.
Socality Barbie is a social media account made by an anonymous photographer who seeks to prove that the photos we see on our feed have started to look so much alike. We can't tell anymore whose photo (or life!) belongs to whom. All the photos are washed out. They're of the same things: the pretend candid shot (the "stolen happiness," as Angelica Panganiban coined it) while traveling, the cup of coffee, the legs. The account mocks the lives we aspire to lead: how we don't dare to be different anymore as we want the same things (Barbie is a mass-produced doll, after all), how we conform our way of taking photos and filter choices for likes, how we set things up to look natural but really they're all designed or arranged. (Really, there was a random leaf on Barbie's bed when she was reading Kinfolk and drinking coffee? Did she even really read Kinfolk and drink coffee?)
And that's the genius behind Socality Barbie: the use of a doll that, because it's a doll, can't read or drink or climb mountains or appreciate a view. A doll is the view. A doll is modeled and posed, is set up for something. Very much like the people who go places or do things just for their Instagram, right? And how many of us have been fooled into thinking that that's the life, or even a life lived to the fullest?
We're not overanalyzing here. If you read some of the captions such as "Looking for Likes" or "Had to stop looking at the ocean to take a picture of myself looking at the ocean so I could post about how beautiful the ocean was" or "Cuz holding your ice cream up to a wall turns it into art," you'll know that the user or Barbie is poking fun at people with similar photos.
Now it's not bad if YOU have a few photos like that or if you find such Instagram photos beautiful. Yes, the composition is great. And to take photos of your coffee or ice cream against a wall isn't bad in itself. But they're not the only ones worth taking pictures of, and that filter that washes out your photos isn't the only filter you can use to have amazing shots. They might be giving you the hearts (they're tried and tested, after all) but they're not the only ones that get you the double tap. And before you ask yourself why those hearts matter so much to you, ask yourself first: What do you really, really like and want?
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