Your Instagram Horoscope.
BY MARCO KAYE and SLOAN SCHANG
[Originally published September 6, 2012.]
Inkwell: You’re moody, manipulative, and irritatingly powerful. Your photos tend to be of a lone figure silhouetted by a shaft of sunlight. Shoot a biker on a bridge and many will follow, but hashtag hard. No less than twenty is a good rule of thumb. Your comments will fill up with more hearts than a charm bracelet.
Sierra: You’re quite the urban gardener, Sierra. You love flowers more than Georgia O’Keeffe and bees combined. You love the beach too, but enough with all the pictures of your toned gams pointing at the ocean. You get upset easily and probably are right now.
Brannan: You consider yourself a modern-day Weegee, nabbing stolen moments shot from the hip. A better comparison could be drawn between you and the board game Sorry!, as that’s what you’ll be when a giant man shoves you for stealing his particular moment.
Amaro: You are intelligent, but drawn to mundane Instagram subjects. This is likely because of the time you were deeply moved by a MoMA exhibit that consisted of nothing but a dirty shower curtain lying on the floor.
Toaster: You’re a foodie who loves writing “nom nom” on dishes that either clog arteries or contain artfully placed herb sprigs. You’re young, selfish, and lack marketable skills, so stop taking pictures and focus on your goal of achieving Elite Yelper status.
Rise: A hopeless romantic, you are just one more skyscraper photo away from successfully seducing the co-worker who once mentioned you have “a great eye for composition.” I mean you have to be, right? In the meantime try following your co-worker’s friends for inspiration. Not all at once, though. Too stalker-y.
Hudson: Your moral ambiguity is evident in your many brilliant photos of shadows. Steer clear of any more clichéd patterns cast by Venetian blinds and banister rods. Also, total sidebar, but try making eye contact with your grocery checker once in awhile. It feels nice.
Valencia: Enough with the photos of old motel signage, Valencia. Something terrible could happen to you in an area with hourly rates that low. Your trusting nature will serve you well in your career, but beware of investment opportunities offered by Kelvin.
Hefe: You’re a Manic Pixie Dream Person, but all the quirky things you do don’t seem to work in this format, where everyone is unable to fully gather your strange, flailing charms. Consider trying that new app which is like Instagram but for animated gifs.
X-pro II: If you have a chance to buy an El Camino, do so.
Nashville: You’re both detail-oriented and lazy. Everyone knows this because you have one clean corner of your house, a veritable portrait studio for succulents and old weird books, whereas everywhere else is a disaster. When you gain weight it shows up first in your face, and this is sad because you can’t really exercise your face, can you?
Lo-fi: You’re drawn to the gothic, to crumbling frescoes and dark corridors. Does intensifying the saturation evince the sorrow of urban decay, fragmented families and desolation that fill the coal-black heart of our deindustrialized centers of commerce? Nope. It’s just a shitty wall, a boring hallway.
Earlybird: As the title of this filter suggests, you are tirelessly optimistic. Your images are the pictorial equivalent of lyrics to a Sheryl Crow song, which goes something like, “Outside of a car wash/There’s my silver Honda Civic/Here are my feet on green grass/I got a new haircut!”
Walden: You’re quiet, charming, elusive, and emotionally transgendered. Stop posting inspiring quotes. Only celebrities can do that. The sensitive and athletic Sierra makes an ideal mate as you both enjoy road trip photographs taken in the side view mirror.
Sutro: The early bloomer withers first. You peaked with a portrait of a cowboy sleeping on a bench at LAX, setting your popularity expectations unreasonably high. Every photo you have taken or will take since then will be nothing more than an increasingly desperate attempt to recreate the magic of that exquisitely lit lone ranger.
1977: You see everything through rose-colored glasses, which don’t provide adequate UV protection. Soon your eyes will stage a multilayered rebellion consisting of floaters, styes and spasmodic twitching.
Kelvin: Kelvins are intense. Seriously, who has the time to scroll that far to the right? You are a fierce competitor who believes it is possible to “win Instagram” by log-jamming people’s feeds with dozens of pictures at a clip. A mid-life heart attack is of concern.
Normal: Pride. Integrity. Several hundred photos of your children. If this app was the military, the #nofilter tag would be your Medal of Honor. Your feed is an atoll of purity, braced against a relentless surf of washed out, over saturated and poorly-cropped photos of clouds and sandwiches. Thank you sir or madam, it is an honor to follow you. Of course it’s possible you just haven’t figured out how to use this thing yet. See, all those filter buttons across the bottom of the app make boring photographs of your children look fucking fantastic.
SUGGESTED READSOpen Letters: An Open Letter to the New York Times Style Section Photo Retoucher
by Michelle Arenas (7/14/2003)
It’s Weird to Think That One Day I’ll Photoshop You Out of These Very Vacation Photos
by Colin Nissan (8/12/2009)
Open Letters: An Open Letter to People Who Take Pictures of Food With Instagram
by Katherine Markovich (6/29/2012)
RECENTLYButterball Help-Line Help-Line
by Alysia Gray Painter (11/25/2015)
Alphabetically Organized Relatives: A New Contest from Amy Krouse Rosenthal and McSweeney’s
by McSweeney's Books (11/25/2015)
Doing Science: The Wonkiness of Pure Bloodlines, and Their Unexpected Upsides
by Emily Helliwell (11/25/2015)
POPULARThe Four Horsemen of Gentrification
by Zain Khalid (11/3/2015)
Monologue: An Extremely Pregnant Woman Has a Few Questions for the Motherhood Maternity Customer Service Desk
by Amy Rolph (8/4/2015)
Monologue: As Your Governor, I Will Protect You From Mass Shooters If They Are Syrian
by Pete Reynolds (11/18/2015)