Why the Instagram Husband is still the best thing you’ll see on the internet.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As we welcome a time where witty captions are everything, emojis are considered a literary device, photos taken days before are strategically posted at peak traffic time (6.05pm), and creative “freedom” is the bane of choosing one flat-lay…29332058 shots later; there’s really no better time to be alive (especially if you’re one of the lucky ones with a graphic designer as your better half).
…Or is there?
Gone are the days where Instagram was your one-stop portal for all things authentic and existential. Until now, no one (aside from Sociality Barbie) had ridiculed the makings of our online documentaries and autobiographies, commoditised by Instagram’s story-telling offerings for public display and judgment. However, thanks to satire’s role in Instagram Husband, it’s apparent that what constitutes as the ‘authentic’ lifestyle has been overlooked dramatically…
Which brings us here. To a video so good it might just take you back to Circa-every-photo-taken-of-you-ever 💁
2 weeks before Christmas, The Mystery Hour (TMH) — a 4-man Missourian wolf-pack of comedic hopefuls (with a lot of spare time) — graced us with their rendition of what it’s like to be married to a lifestyle blogger. A ‘legitimate’ online support group went live after the viral clip made headlines worldwide. Today it boasts a global community aka man-possie comprised of husbands who’ve had enough and are ready to take a stand for their rights by reclaiming their return to normalcy.
The video’s themes are all too real.
Pretty girl looking away from the camera.
The formula for bulk likes is simple.
‘Pics or it didn’t happen’
Instagram Husband explores the inherent desires to be heard and the lengths we go to craft THE Insta-worthy image. Following on from how some restaurants now welcome with open arms the absurdities of standing on chairs to take food pics, (judging not judging), Insta hubbies are the voices this generation needs to contest the social acceptability of buying food just for the sake of taking a photo 🙅
At face value Instagram Husbands may seem like nothing short of a one-vid-wonder — a viral parody bringing us up to speed on how pixelated images and harsh lighting are definitely a thing of the past. However, hilarity ensues and 20 seconds in the question does linger:
How much are we really posting for ourselves vs. how much is our life captured in squares designed to meet the unspoken needs, expectations, and even pressures of our followers?
Okay so maybe we’re not necessarily seeking approval in our self-worth. BUT when it comes to constantly recording our lives as a reminder of our presence/existence, then this in many ways has reified “us” (term used loosely) as history hoarders in our own right.
“We used to eat our food — now we just take photos of it.”
Instagram Husband is an ode to the mundane with its mockery of life’s simple pleasures you see day in and day out from a typical Insta-famous personality, who mostly resigns to slight variations of common themes. Writer for The Guardian, Jacob Silverman describes the universal concept that screams familiarity, croissants, and soy chai lattes as a vicious cycle of social artefact and short-lasting endorphin fixes combined with a side-serving of disappointment.
Instagram Husband not only promises predictability and irony of the stereotypical #livefolk #liveauthentic go-getter girl, but inadvertently taps into how vulnerable we as Instagrammers can be to feeling as if we need to lock ourselves into a particular identity.
You could say opting into a kind of narrow, yet seemingly ‘refreshing’ trajectory is what reassures and pleases the crowds we so deservingly attract right?
Who Run The World? Instagram Girls.
Stats at a glance:
- In 2015 Fashionista reported 19 out of the 20 most influential personal style bloggers were female
- Women continue to dominate Instagram’s spotlight with 68% of its users being female
- Men, however are quickly catching up to an equal appreciation for artsy images and quirky posts
“Behind every cute girl on Instagram there’s a guy like me…and a brick wall.”
Who would have thought such an opening statement could disrupt the existing gender dynamics of women for good. The unprecedented cultural shift from “behind the scenes of every successful man” to the uprising of the ‘strong independent female’ persona has not been made possible without Instagram.
While some felt the video was an extreme and sexually-diverse-lacking portrayal (👭👬) on the stride of female narcissism, others appreciated what TMH set out to do, and that was exaggerate how men are merely accessories to women’s [online] success.
Whatever you got out of it, there’s no denying the spoof’s intent plays on how women’s power, control and influence drive the media content landscape. And although an increasingly celebrated journey, the spotlight on women is still undermined by the petty public discourse that is quick to judge women as ‘conditioned’ to nothing more than two-dimensional attention-seeking.
The verdict. Epidemic or Phenomenon?
Where Post-2010 Insta seemed like an oasis of genuine pensiveness, fast-track 6 years and both women and men alike are cornered yet again, attuned by the unspoken criteria to be the best online version of yourself possible. While TMH’s wit has drawn attention to social politics’ flaws, its light-heartedness is also where we all from time to time identify the Instagram husband and blogger wife within.
So with all that said, has the real-life Instagram Husband married or befriended a trivial, pedantic white space-loving, grey-scale enthusiast slash minimalist, who adores all things Kinfolk-esque? Yes, without a doubt.
It’s not all bad news though. Tech Insider’s Linda Stone reassures us that your hints at hidden depths become all the more worthwhile and feel less like an imprisonment of expression when your references aren’t like a regular reference, but a cool reference.
I’ll let my homeboy Garry explain with the help of a semi-cliche yet *deep quote against a (yep you guessed it) Insta-ready backdrop:
The extents to which Instagram Husband speaks truth on our photo-sharing complex helps address the subjective ridicule, vices, follies and shortcomings masked by our efforts to be ‘visually-pleasing/ borderline pretentious art-forms.
To find out more about the symptoms of an Instagram Husband, join the movement here.
Originally published at The Isthmus.