So you’re out and about just living your fabulous life and suddenly somebody takes an awesome picture of you. Immediately, in millennial fashion, you think, “OMG, I have to Insta this.” You proceed to sit down on the fringes of whatever social gathering you’re attending and pretend to be texting for 10 minutes when in reality, you’re trying to find a filter that fits as perfectly as the glass slipper did on Cinderella’s foot. After some tough cuts, you’ve found the winning filter and then it’s on to the caption. Song lyric? Marilyn Monroe quote? Random sequence of emojis? Whatever it is, well done, you probably nailed it. Now all that’s left is sitting back and letting the likes just shower over you.
But, when you were addressing the various factors of this particular ‘gram, did you happen to consider what your body language might be saying? Whether purposeful or not, the pose in any given picture sends a message and can end up revealing more than words ever could. Here are a few telling Instagrams that frequently show up on my feed:
The Jumping Pic:
“I’m fun and carefree, I’m just jumping around with a few friends who also happen to be jumping and oh wow, I didn’t even realize you were taking pictures of us how neat, I hope your we look as naturally happy as we are right now!” Who just jumps and hopes somebody takes a picture of it? No one, except people who want to show everybody how much fun they’re having without having to say it.
The Hand Placed On a Guy’s Stomach/Chest:
This might as well be a “SOLD!” sign on this guy’s front lawn, because he is no longer on the market. The subtle placement of a girl’s hand on a guy’s stomach/chest area in a picture is an irrefutable indicator that these people, to some degree, are romantically involved.
The Hand Placement of a Guy’s Hand on Lower Back/Butt:
Whether it’s a formal picture or just some Friday night at the bar, the placement of a guy’s hand on a girl’s lower back can also say quite a lot. The proximity of hand placement to butt typically indicates some degree of romantic involvement (or at least hopeful romantic involvement.)
The Birthday Collage pic:
This ‘gram is not so much about the body language of the pictures but rather the assortment of pictures that have been carefully selected. The B-Day Insta Collage is a staple among girlfriends and often times is a compilation of several old Instagrams wrapped into one. From my observations, these collages often include a winning combination of any/ all of the following pics: the token pretty picture (“we were SO tan”), the funny and/or embarrassing picture (think sombrero and mustache combo while chugging some Jose Cuervo), a throwback picture (“aww, back when we were little freshies!”) and then any other ones that they feel should make the cut. This Insta is not only meant to let the birthday person know that they are being thought of and loved on their special day, but also to publicly advertise a relationship.
The Model Pose:
This is the blatant, “I know I look hot, you know I look hot, and now the Instagram world is gonna know I look hot” picture. Whether it’s a formal event, new heels or a particularly good makeup night, when the hand goes on the hip, the head cocks to the side and the knee gets jutted forward every so slightly, you know what’s up.
The “Candid Laughing Pic”
I put this in quotes because how often is a candid laughing picture actually candid? How many times has a gaggle of girls asked whoever is taking the picture to “just take a bunch” as they all start looking at each other, tossing their hair wildly, and laughing about literally nothing, except to eventually start actually laughing about how dumb they are in that moment. I won’t rob everyone, sometimes truly candid moments are captured and it’s a beautiful thing, but I would guess that for every five “candid laughing” pictures on Instagram, only about one might be real.
The Hot Dog or Legs Phenomenon:
I always wonder to myself who came up with this trendy poolside pose. A few things can be usually be gleaned from a classic hot dog or legs pic: 1) this person has nice legs and wants people to notice them. Think about it, somebody who is self-conscious about their legs is not about to post an up close and personal picture of them on Instagram, right? Therefore, they are probably nice hot dogs (legs?) 2) This picture is possibly being used to show off the cool scenery in a subtle way or humble-brag about being poolside on a beautiful day. 3) Some girl is getting impatient with the tanning process and just needs something to do.
This article was published on Her Campus Fairfield’s website on 9/8/14.