Recently an Instagram post by Scarlett London went viral on Twitter. To sum it up, a guy reposted one of her Instagram photos calling her out for being “fake”. This sparked a lot of discussions and a lot of negativity too. I for one wish we could talk about image and social media because I feel like it’s something that needs to be addressed. So, this is why I believe that authenticity doesn’t get you likes on social media.
From my personal experience, authenticity doesn’t get you likes on social media. I can’t tell you why, but it just wasn’t for me. For example, whenever I’m in my natural state drinking Starbucks I will get fewer likes than a day when I’m all made up and everything is staged.
From my personal experience, authenticity doesn’t get you likes on social media.
As a blogger who used to use Instagram a lot more than I do now, my staged photos had more likes than ones that weren’t as staged. Now, there are tons of factors that could go into why I didn’t get a lot of likes. For example, it could be the subject or even the quality. However, most of the time there’s nothing glamorous about our normal everyday lives, at least not for me.
On my personal Pinterest, I have a board dedicated to me dreaming of a luxury lifestyle. The probability of me having the ability to own a private jet, tons of Hermes products, or even a pair of silk pajamas in the near future is highly unlikely. However, it is nice to dream! I think that’s why platforms such as Instagram are so cool to think about because you could become anyone. You can wake up and be anything. It’s that type of creativity that was inspired in many people’s childhoods.
When I was a child, I wanted to be a princess. So, on social media, I could cultivate a whole lifestyle of being a “modern princess”. Using my DSLR camera, I could very well go on a photo shoot and create this life that I’m important or that I’m attending engagements. The kind of photos you see of Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle. However, that’s not my normal life but that’s the kind of interesting aspect of social media.
Using my DSLR camera, I could very well go on a photo shoot and create this life that I’m important or that I’m attending engagements.
It’s the ability to create whatever life or portrayal of yourself. Surely you could get more creative than the unauthentic morning look, but it’s still a creative portrayal, especially when it’s a paid campaign for a mouthwash like Scarlett London’s Instagram post.
So, let’s talk about makeup and perfume because I saw a lot of mentions about this when the photo went viral. Most people know that Aerie doesn’t photoshop their models anymore, but the likelihood that this has translated into the makeup and perfume industry is low. I know that when promoting a mascara product, those models are, most of the time, wearing false eyelashes. This is in essence unauthentic. Perfume and cologne ads always have ridiculous depictions in them. I believe it was Dior that had Charlize Theron climbing a rope to get the perfume. This is unauthentic because no one goes through all that trouble to get perfume every day. So, I’m unsure as to why we should expect Scarlett London’s to be authentic.
I think for many of the comments on the viral tweet comes from the misunderstanding that Instagram should be authentic because those of us who use Instagram use it that way. I have a personal Instagram and a blog Instagram. These two worlds are very different. However, I do follow influencers on both. In doing this, I understand that when I see a super high-quality image, the likelihood that this image is staged is high.
So yes, it is unauthentic, but that’s what will get likes. Authenticity doesn’t get you likes because a fantasy is more desirable.
When you look at Scarlett London’s viral Instagram post, it’s pretty clear that no one wakes up like that. However, what Scarlett London is doing is selling an image or a fantasy. She has created a version of herself that she may very wish were true, and this is okay! I think many girls wish they could wake up in the morning with their makeup already done to breakfast made and balloons. How awesome would it be to wake up that way?
So yes, it is unauthentic, but that’s what will get likes. Authenticity doesn’t get you likes because a fantasy is more desirable. People want to buy into a dream. They want to dream of a life that’s glamorous. As for the children argument, I think parents need to inform children that all of these images on social media, on television, in movies, on billboards are fantasies, much like playing pretend. I don’t think the blame should fall on those who create these images, especially real humans like Scarlett London.
Question of the day: What are your thoughts about Scarlett London and authenticity? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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