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Sociality Barbie Goes After Instagram Hipsters

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There's a lot to like about Instagram. Do a bit of digging and you'll find a wealth of creative, talented photographers using the platform to its full potential as well as neat, left of field digital marketing campaigns and famous faces who use it to offer fans a real insight into their lives that's actually worth something. Tony Hawk is a personal favourite. The trouble is, to get to all of that, you have to wade through a swamp of self-righteous hipster culture, littered with people modelling the designer sunglasses, snapping play-by-play reports on their chorizo salad or in some awful cases, taking selfies on a polaroid and then taking a picture of that.
It's a movement so ridiculous that it almost doesn't need satirising, but it's nice to see that people are finding interesting ways of doing so nonetheless. Socality Barbie is an Instagram account dedicated to re-imagining Barbie for the millennial generation, in the most biting way possible. She's traded in the pink convertible and the frilly ball gown for a moka pot and VSCO filters, and every picture is aggressively encumbered with hashtags and attempts at inspirational rhetoric.
It's something you could almost imagine happening for real, without even so much as a hint of irony. Barbie was the figurehead of more than one generation and if Mattel ever did decide to throw out the pink and update her for the app age, this is probably the kind of thing you'd see. More to the point though, Barbie is made of plastic, and modelled after a laughably unrealistic, generalised standard of beauty, which makes her the perfect spokesperson for the inauthentic pantomime that Instagram can often be.



The phenomenon of doctoring your life's events to make it all seem more interesting/positive than it might actually be is common across all social media platforms, as aptly demonstrated by What's on Your Mind, a clever, harrowing short film that did the rounds last year (watch above), but Instagram is in a class of its own. This is largely because raw, unedited images almost never make it onto the feed, the emphasis is on editing, filtering, teasing and adjusting until an overcast day looks like a brilliant sunset.
It's a sad notion that inspiration and worldliness are becoming distorted by overuse, but that's more or less what's happening. By putting Barbie in a makeshift beanie and sitting her next to a waterfall in a washed-out palette, the photographer behind the project is outlining just how silly it all really is.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Sociality Barbie Goes After Instagram Hipsters Reviewed by Callum Davies on Monday, September 07, 2015 Rating: 5

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