Hipster Barbie Is So Much Better at Instagram Than You
Barbie’s traded her pink Corvette for a Subaru, her designer purse for a Filson backpack, and her ordinary specs for Warby Parkers. She’s living #authentic, celebrating #socality, and effortlessly being so much better than you.
Socality Barbie is a fantastic Instagram account satirizing the great millennial adventurer trend in photography. It’s an endless barrage of pensive selfies in exotic locales, arty snapshots of coffee, and just the right filter on everything. Anyone who’s flipped through an issue of Kinfolk gets the aesthetic. And it’s everywhere on Instagram.
The woman behind the account is a wedding photographer in Portland, Oregon, who wishes to remain anonymous so to preserve Socality Barbie’s authenticity. She created the Instagram about three months ago to poke fun at all the people hashtagging photos with #liveauthentic and #socality. The homogeneity of their authenticity and universality of their socality all but demanded satirization. “People were all taking the same pictures in the same places and using the same captions,” she says. “I couldn’t tell any of their pictures apart so I thought, ‘What better way to make my point than with a mass-produced doll?’”
Socality Barbie has amassed more than 7,000 followers so far, adding more each day. “I think it’s because she’s so relatable,” the photographer says. “Either your Instagram photos looks just like her’s or you know at least one person who does.”
Folk Lyfe. Shout out to all the hunters out there making hip photos like this possible. #instagoodmyphoto #vsco #vscocam #socality #liveauthentic #livefolk #kinfolk #visualcoop #getoutside #letsgosomewhere #neverstopexploring #exploreeverthing #explore #adventure #lifeofadventure #pnw #pacificnorthwest #thatpnwlife #northwestisbest #thegeatpnw #greatnorthcollective #socalityportland #pdx #communityfirst #oregon #upperleftusa #peoplescreatives #wildernessculture #instagood #herpnwlife
Her fashionably disheveled wardrobe is often handmade—a hipster backpack made from an iron-on patch and leather, a beanie cut from the finger of a glove. The quintessentially Pacific Northwest Pendleton blanket is a scrap of felt with painted lines. It’s all so authentic, as are the locations. Most of them, anyway. On those days when the photographer is too tired to head to, say, Multnomah Falls, she’ll use a little digital trickery in Photoshop.
As fun as the photos are, it’s the details that make scrolling through SB’s feed a delight. There she is, contemplating life while gazing over a lake, hair tousled and knit beanie ever so slightly askew. There she is, showing off her double scoop of vanilla and honey lavender ice cream at Salt and Straw. Captions like Always gram your coffee or it didn’t happen and Great things never came from comfort zones are pitch-perfect platitudes.
The creator of Socality Barbie understands why such feeds are popular. Everyone likes breathtaking photos of mountains and beaches, and everyone longs for a day when they can just get away from it all. But in the end, this sort of endless visual snacking feels hollow. “I get it, it’s pretty to look at,” she says. “But it’s so dishonest. Nobody actually lives like this. And it’s so overdone that it’s becoming boring.”
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