I know your dirty secret; you look at weird Instagram pages. You can’t explain it, but for some reason, you find yourself drawn to Instagram accounts with content that has nothing to do with your life, and certainly doesn’t reflect the “Interests” you listed on your online dating profile. If someone walks in the room while you’re looking at these accounts, you throw your phone away from you like it’s on fire. But here’s another secret; we all do it! Certain accounts just have an allure. It could be because they inspire, uplift and motivate us. It could be that they feed into our craving for gossip. It could be that they make us feel better about ourselves through feeling sorry for somebody else. Either way, you need to be careful about the types of imagery you take in, because it can affect your well-being, and even your habits. These types of Instagram accounts are bad for you.
Hot girls with pizza
Do not be fooled by the super slender girl who seems to only own crop tops and only eat the most decadent, cheesy, gooey fried food. This girl creates the illusion that we can all just be out there, grubbing on steak and eggs for breakfast and lobster mac and cheese for lunch and blue cheese burgers for dinner. In fact, the restaurants she visits probably pay her to take photos with their food, which is why she can afford to order it and take three bites. Which is exactly what she does.
Ladies of luxury
There seem to be a lot of women on Instagram whose only job is to stay in the fanciest hotels, shop at designer stores, ride on yachts and drink champagne all day. They can make you pretty damn jealous, and pretty damn resentful of your life. But if they never mention a job, show no sign of having a job, and aren’t royalty (as far as you know) let’s not forget this sad truth: on the other side of that camera is the wealthy man they probably don’t love who they married for this lifestyle. You are better off having your job, paying for your own drinks, and staying in your studio apartment because you’re free.
The fitness models
It’s hard not to feel a little insecure about one’s body when you look at someone with 18-pack abs, legs for days, and a tush and tits that nearly touch the ceiling. But what we forget when looking at the Instagram accounts of fitness models is that being in perfect shape is their entire job. They spend all day at the gym. They cannot have a cocktail or a carb. They go to sleep at 8 pm and get up at 4 am to work out. Comparing your body to theirs, when your life is so different from their’s, is unreasonable.
The wedding planners
Whether you’re single, in a new relationship, or have been with your live-in boyfriend for years, scrolling through the magical photos of a wedding planner’s Instagram account will make you believe you should be married right now. Even if you shouldn’t be. The idea that your partner is lagging on popping the question will sneak into your mind, even if you two are nowhere near ready to tie the knot.
The political memer
Pages full of political memes only tend to exaggerate matters. They can also dehumanize political leaders, enemies, political parties, and nearly anyone they touch. The more you’re exposed to these, the less you’re capable of making a balanced, informed decision. Find a news source you trust, and stick to that.
The text exposer
This person finds text message arguments, typos, secret text conversations and any text thread worthy of gossip and posts it on their page. But people who post text conversations tend to look for those that involve someone cheating on their spouse, being incredibly insulting, racist and sexist, or simply being dumb. These pages don’t leave you feeling very optimistic about the human condition.
Don’t buy too much into the concept that the wanderlusts just spontaneously quit their jobs and started traveling the world with nothing but a backpack. Many of these have a trust fund, their parents are funding their trip, or they secretly saved for and planned this trip for five years. If you quit your job and tried to follow their path, you could quickly find that you didn’t get much further than a bus stop two states over, without a job or a penny.
Mixologists sure do have a way of making alcohol look sexy, fashionable, adventurous, exotic, international, shiny, and even healthy. But at the end of the day, alcohol is still just a toxin, no matter how much a mixologist dresses it up. Looking at these pages will just have you craving cocktails every day, and that’s not great for your body.
The heavy foodie
The heavy foodie out there is dining at some new, indulgent spot each night. Their meals often involve things like truffles and reductions and aged this and imported that. They sure can make you feel sad about your grilled chicken and broccoli. But let’s not forget that many of these foodies get to dine for free, in exchange for posting about and reviewing the food. They too could not afford to eat at the Chef’s table every night. Don’t start pursuing their lifestyle; it will leave you broke.
The serious dieter
As teenagers, we found blogs encouraging women to have eating disorders (they were typically written by other teenagers). All grown up, women may not feel they can blatantly promote an eating disorder. But there are plenty of Instagram models who claim to love nutrition and post photos of their food at each meal. However, they clearly suffer from some form of disordered eating considering their dinner consists of two broccoli florets, one small potato and exactly 2.5 measured ounces of salmon. Don’t follow their leads. These women are not nutrition experts and could probably benefit from seeing a nutritionist.
The diva quotes
You know the ones—the pages filled with fancy ecards covered in words like, “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.” But these pages typically promote a diva, self-entitled mentality of someone who never reflects on their behavior, never takes responsibility for their actions, and never behaves like a grownup in any way. Here’s the thing nobody wants to say about people who post the “If you can’t handle me at my worst…” post: their best is also terrible.
The professional clubber
I’m not sure how they manage it, but some women seem to go clubbing eight nights a week. Their entire Instagram page is about getting ready to go to the club, driving to the club, being at the club, getting post-club food, after partying, and waking up and recovering from clubbing…so they can get ready to go clubbing again. They can instill a serious sense of FOMO. But they are the ones missing out. If they’re clubbing every night, they likely aren’t building a career. Those clubs will not be there for them when they’re over the age of 35, but a career could be.
The sponsored fashionista
There certainly are a lot of fabulous clothes on Instagram. Some women seem to don a new designer outfit twice a day! How do they do it? Well, they’re probably sponsored by those designers to wear their items on Instagram. In fact, they may not even get to keep the clothes—the designers may pay them a small fee to wear them, take the photo, and return them. So don’t be so hard on your worn-in jeans and sweater. They’ve been loyal to you.
The makeup masters
You may think you don’t care about makeup until you see the before and after pictures on the Instagram pages of makeup masters. These are those phenomenal makeup artists who can trim an inch off someone’s nose, simply through shading, and create an upper lip where there wasn’t one. Looking at this pages may inspire you to totally alter your face every morning, but you’ll quickly see it’s not sustainable. You can either have a different face each day, or sleep an extra two hours each morning. You’ll choose the sleep quickly.
The militant feminist
It’s great that there are Instagram pages promoting feminist ideals, but watch out for those who seem to trespass from promoting the rights of women to simply hating and sh*t-talking men. Pages that call themselves feminist pages but are really man-hating pages won’t leave you feeling empowered; they’ll leave you feeling sad and angry.