It’s nearly midnight. My laundry bag is crammed and my bank account is empty. I have four unwritten essays due in a week.
The only thing on my mind is the boy who hasn’t replied to my latest text.
This is why I’m climbing over piles of books and dirty dishes, praying my desk will hold me as I try to position myself in the windowsill without tearing down the curtains. Carefully I open up my dressing gown without revealing too much, as I balance my lit cigarette out the window to not set off the fire alarm. My friend is encouraging me to look distant yet alluring as she tries to capture “the money shot.” We’re aiming to catch something of Mario Sorrenti’s 90s aesthetic.
The photograph is to be posted on Instagram, and hopefully the boy in question will see it, get turned on, and reply to my text.
We all have different aspirations with our social media presence. But regardless if your feed is filled with organic granola, unshaven armpits or edited selfies the underlying motivation remains the same: it is narcissistic metamorphosis. Because through the stream of carefully selected photographs we publish we want to go beyond an expression of our identity and strive instead to create exaggerated versions of ourselves.
As fashion is the construction of identity, social media platforms such as Instagram provide endless opportunities for aspiring creatives. Hence, what our parents deem as self-indulgent clutter can in fact be defined as a post-modern form of alchemy – transforming the banal into something beautiful.
In 2017 anyone with an eye for aesthetics can create images as powerful as those published in established publications. And as our generation is more fascinated by glimpses into the private sphere of people, successful instagrammers as @sarahfuckingsnyder and @kyliejenner have become as influential in fashion as the editors of Vogue.
Perhaps this whole phenomenon is nothing but a perverted play of exhibitionism and voyeurism. But we don’t care. Stimulating our vanity has become more important than preserving our integrity.
And as for the guy – he never got back to me. Whatever, judging from my Insta-likes I won’t be lonely for long. Hit me up @victorschagerlund #seeyouatmissoula
Photographs: @chanelegance, @emmadenison, @unaconnolly, @zsofiborsi, @chloekayil, @ellarosephilips, @victorschagerlund