Within the confines of Instagram, there are limitless possibilities of what you can post — so long as it’s age-appropriate. Everyone’s page is in some way different, obviously, but like styles or movements, there are repetitive patterns. The pictures might be different, but the layup, color scheme, or substance of the posts repeat within movements. These aesthetics formed slowly over Instagram’s popularity and strive to demonstrate the personality of the user. Instagram is primarily focused on aesthetics. So, of course, it would be a natural breeding ground for different aesthetics. When creating a new page or rebranding, users often choose a certain aesthetic to match their growth. Creating your own unique aesthetic can be tedious and forced. Instagram’s aesthetic groups can be played to your advantage. Creating a distinct and recognizable aesthetic aligns your brand with an image people recognize and are comfortable with.
It’s High School Again!
Does high school ever end? Especially on Instagram and other playgrounds of the twenty-somethings? The cliques that formed in adolescence seem to find new grounds to hatch on Instagram. There are different groups, aesthetics, communities, looks that pages have dedicated their look too. It cultivates an appearance. It’s everywhere, even in the laxer of accounts. Passing or sociable users who use Instagram as a means of connecting with people have as much of an aesthetic as designated brands, they just don’t proclaim one. Alternative communities have a grimy, ironic, and harsh aesthetic. Bubble gum Instagram uses soft, pastel colors and cutesy makeup. Even users who use Instagram to post pictures of themselves/their friends/family have an aesthetic. Your uncle’s Instagram follows a theme, though he probably doesn’t cultivate it.
The way people cultivate aesthetics on Instagram is impressive. Everyone portrays themselves so nicely on Instagram, the colors, the looks and the settings are always beautiful. Wanting involvement in one of these groups comes easily. It’s easy to see something attractive and think you’d like to be like that, it’s hard to feel completely comfortable with yourself when there are so many distractions. Like in high school, when everyone wanted to be a part of a group, Instagram has continued this trend. There are countless places for you to insert yourself or base or your online persona like. Maybe you see a page you like, and you think you’d like to be more like them. You might think another person’s look would suit you. You are craving more from your online self and they have shown something that could fulfill that.
Where Does Your Aesthetic Belong?
Think about what kind of person you are in real life. Consider what parts of yourself that people like most. Reflect on what your aesthetic is inspired by. If you get a lot of your aesthetic inspiration from online sources, it might just be easiest to align yourself with your inspirations. If they post in a certain way, it could be easy to draw further inspiration from their content. Whatever colors you wear most frequently, most easily blends into your page without trying! Beyond the actual aesthetic, what kind of groups do you normally fit in with, or which groups are you most attracted to? These kinds of Instagram aesthetics might be most easy for you to fit into. You could model yourself based on what you find most attractive about them.
It’s also a bigger question beyond where you fit in but why you fit into certain groups. There might be a deeper more interesting reason people or groups attract you. Beyond that, there may be a deeper reason you seek acceptance from specific people. If you’re looking to fit in with and look a certain way, there might be a reason you want to present like that. For example, if you want to look like a member of the alternative community, to the point where you broadcast yourself in their aesthetic online, there might be a reason for that. Perhaps you want distinction from the crowd you’re familiar with. There are parts of yourself to explore while you consider what group you belong in, based only on aesthetics.
Do You Have a Predetermined Aesthetic?
In a world where nothing is made in a vacuum, is there a possibility to create an aesthetic that’s purely your own? Making your own personal look might always be the composite of things around you. It’s incredibly difficult to make your own, new aesthetic others are attracted to or even understand. Being able to take a step outside yourself and form your own aesthetic requires a level of self-awareness that virtually nobody has. Limited ego is an incredibly rare quality, and lack of ego creates a lack of interest in self-presentation. Having an analytical view on aesthetics could create something new. But, how often does a new sub-genre appear? How often is there a new kind of “jock” aesthetic?
Featured image by Kate Torline of UNSPLASH.COM