The girl on the bus signed as she scrolled through her feed, past image after image of fashion model past interchangeable fashion model.
Luckily we arrived at my stop before I told her that it isn't the tool's fault that she ended up following 500 white, middle-class women who all look like her (and me).
The beauty of social media is that you curate your own experience. Rather than buying a magazine and flicking through 200 pages of of glossy, glam, sexy, tall, skinny, white, blonde women, you can tailor your feed to show you the world as you want to see it, and see all the infinitely diverse ways people can be happy, healthy, smart, witty, kind and beautiful, and what that looks like. And when we see the disconnect between what we want to look at and what we *have* to look at, it starts a conversation.
With Insta, you can see how people live in the remotest corners of the earth. You can follow the Guggenheim, the Tate, the VA, and see world-class art every single day, while you're on a bus. No generation had ever had that privilege before. Social media is one of the most powerful tools of self-education we have.
It's easy to sneer that Insta is all cats, brunch, selfies and beach yoga. I'm not having a pop - I've posted all of those pics (apart from beach yoga. I'd giggle too much). And if that's what you want your feed to look like, you carry on - we all use social media differently, and I'm not here to feed-shame anyone (let's not make feed-shaming a thing, thx). But if your feed is boring you, don't blame the tool or the algorithms. If you're choosing to be spoon-fed, you can't complain that everything tastes the same.
@instagram #transisbeautiful #besickening#noDAPL #beautiful #queerart #melanin #pcos
Pic credits: Top l-r @buckangel @latriceroyale @oliverjeffers; Middle l-r @melaniegaydos @missnonnymbuyazi
@somligafetakvinnor; bottom l-r @thatgirlsussi @harnaamkaur @melaniin.goddess