The Secret to becoming Instagram Butt famous
January 29, 2018 10:04 AM   Subscribe

Youtuber NerdCity and his Girlfriend Nicky venture out to make her famous on Instagramm by copying the style of popular Fitness models like Jen Selter. The results might surprise you...

Over three videos they chronicle the changing beauty standards from the 80s to today, how to make your butt look good and the best way to promote yourself.
Hilarious and weirdly insightful, Tryhards is a glimpse behind the facade of of social media influencers.

In similar fashion Cody Ko comments on Travel Content on Instagram.
posted by Megustalations (44 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
I can't few the Youtube videos at work just yet - but I feel like I should come in and tip my hat early on in any butt-related thread, so hi.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:17 AM on January 29, 2018 [26 favorites]


The last video is particularly good at deconstructing the image world of instagram. There's a whole mythos that's more insidious and terrible than when incredibly buff people started appearing on TV, because they're our 'friends'.
posted by The River Ivel at 12:08 PM on January 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


Weirdly, a few hours ago I saw the video about the guy who got his non-existent London restaurant a no 1 ranking on Tripadvisor.
posted by helion at 12:12 PM on January 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


@helion
Yeah I remember reading about that guy. There is so much fakery on the net, and with stuff like deepfake (putting any face on pornstars in videos) and other machine learning getting more and more sophisticated we will soon have completely faked videos show up of people doing and saying stuff they never did, but it looking absolutely real.

@The River Ivel
I don't use Insta and all this inspirational travel blog stuff/flexing was new to me.
posted by Megustalations at 12:37 PM on January 29, 2018


I don't understand anything about any of of this influencer mumbo-jumbo. *shakes cane* Like, how is this fun or interesting to look at? Doggo pics I can understand but... pert butts in various picturesque locations... why?
posted by soren_lorensen at 12:45 PM on January 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


I watched this very first thing this morning and had a similar confused reaction to it, but after a few hrs/coffees I've come to the conclusion that it's because of the pert butts in picturesque locations.
posted by mannequito at 12:56 PM on January 29, 2018 [11 favorites]


Like, how is this fun or interesting to look at? Doggo pics I can understand but... pert butts in various picturesque locations... why?

I have a feeling it isn't because of the picturesque locations.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:57 PM on January 29, 2018 [18 favorites]


I guess after 43 years as a human being, I'm just immune to butts. Also having a bit of an underpants gnome moment. Step 1: post butt to internet. Step 2: ????? Step 3: Profit! What's going on in Step 2 there? Corporate sponsorship? Look at my butt and buy Tide?
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:11 PM on January 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


I guess after 43 years as a human being, I'm just immune to butts.

At the risk of being eponysterical:

There is a sufficient amount of people who are not only not immune to butts, but also find them attractive, so as to make pictures of attractive butts kind of popular.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:24 PM on January 29, 2018 [14 favorites]


At the risk of being eponysterical:

And after many years and thousands of times seeing your username, I finally bother to find out what it means.
posted by flaterik at 1:28 PM on January 29, 2018 [42 favorites]


There is a sufficient amount of people who are not only not immune to butts, but also find them attractive, so as to make pictures of attractive butts kind of popular.

Also: they cannot lie.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:35 PM on January 29, 2018 [44 favorites]


"Hey professor? What's another word for pirate treasure?"
posted by loquacious at 1:36 PM on January 29, 2018 [15 favorites]


I like butts
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:38 PM on January 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


Loved the last video. I was actually thinking about this after reading the post about the change in "mommy blogging." The same thing has happened with travel "blogging."

Like the guy in the video, I did some backpacking in my twenties, except that was 15 years ago. And I used early-2000s blogs so much to plan my trips. They were great. All that stuff that he says the "travel instagram" people never talk about - how they afford their trips, how to get from point A to point B, the times travel can suck - those early travel bloggers would write about a lot, and it was often really interesting, good reading, in addition to being useful. Travel guides tell you the places to see in a location, but these blogs would tell you what it felt like for someone like you (if you are also a middle-class American twenty-something, which I was) to be there.

One interesting thing back then was that it seemed like there was a general consensus that an overly airbrushed, too-perfect aesthetic around travel writing or photography was the domain of glossy travel magazines or Travel Channel shows. There was a real emphasis on showing what it was really like to travel, including explorations of the political and ethical aspects of privileged first world young adults traveling and blogging in the developing world.

I had a period for about 10 years when I didn't really travel at all because I was building my career and I was broke, but in the last few years I've started taking international vacations again when I can (it helped to work for an international NGO for 4 years). For these trips, I would try to find travel blogs that might help me plan, and it was totally fruitless. Even leaving aside instagram, the travel blogs that do exist have fallen prey to a lot of the same trends: endless blue-water shots, that stupid ubiquitous "leading faceless boyfriend by the hand" shot, nonstop product placement, and inane "philosophical" writing. Same with travel youtube.

I guess the big difference was that in the early 2000s, travel blogs were not as monetize-able. (I remember some of the really big travel bloggers had small promotional deals, or were partially supported by reader donations, but it was small potatoes) They were also aimed mostly at people who might want to travel themselves - so there was some wish fulfillment (I read a lot of travel blogs for places I never wound up going) but it wasn't like "look at my glamorous lifestyle"- it was like "wow, that bus ride was crazy and we almost died but I met these interesting people along the way."

Just another way the internet has gotten worse thanks to social media!
posted by lunasol at 1:55 PM on January 29, 2018 [22 favorites]


Also having a bit of an underpants gnome moment. Step 1: post butt to internet. Step 2: ????? Step 3: Profit! What's going on in Step 2 there? Corporate sponsorship? Look at my butt and buy Tide?

you jest but, yes, actually, that is Step 2, because late stage capitalism is actually that weird. though it's more likely to be clothing companies or supplement / food companies. (though proctor and gamble really have been sleeping on the potential of the whole tide pod meme situation, tbh...)
posted by halation at 1:55 PM on January 29, 2018


I guess the big difference was that in the early 2000s, travel blogs were not as monetize-able.

There was that whole 1990s "keeping it real" thing going on then with bands and actors refusing to do commercials and any kind of selling out was the kiss of death to creative types. I blame Paris Hilton and Simon Cowell for destroying that. Kids these days see selling out as aspirational, which as really changed the internets.

They are lying liars though. I have one friend who had a moderately successful IG about her life traveling the world and working on organic farms and as a trekking guide. Adorbs photos of newborn goats and horseback rides in Africa. Quotes about being your own self and not letting anyone hold you back. True story: alimony and alcoholism. I mean, she had a lot of fun and its one way to get over a bad marriage but the IG was grade A bullshit.
posted by fshgrl at 2:05 PM on January 29, 2018 [9 favorites]


I think I have about 5** photos up on my withering and decaying Instagram account.
I never got the hang of it - not the posting part, and not the following part.
It just seemed like pretty people posting their adventures in which I was not interested.

THEN I found out about Tag The Sponsor, and, well, yikes.

**Turns out I only have three photos up.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 2:14 PM on January 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


I skipped straight to the last video because as a regular instagram user I was always curious as to how to properly promote yourself on the platform. Not that I care, because attention tends to give me anxiety. (fun fact: getting 5 immediate notifications because you know you posted a good photo is validation, getting 20 immediate notifications but you didn't think the photo was all that great puts you in a "oh god what did i do, crap crap crap" sense of alert). The steps in that video are actually informative. I did not know that about FB group, but it makes sense. They'd rather have all the questionable stuff stay in their own little contained pods than have to police it all out in the public space. Same is true for the nazi and extremist groups, although those are more likely to get shutdown once somebody bothers to report them.

I have one friend who's been trying to get instagram famous for years, one of those who still believe in the earnestness of these bullshit accounts. I'm going to have to disappoint her when I show her this video about what's really involved. And sadly, IG being IG, she's never going to get that bump because her travel photos are a dime a dozen.
posted by numaner at 2:36 PM on January 29, 2018 [4 favorites]


I use the Chrome extension word replacer II to replace words and phrases that annoy me with amusing stand-ins, and I was actually wondering if I had replaced something with "butt famous" and forgotten about it.
posted by thelonius at 2:50 PM on January 29, 2018 [8 favorites]


Posing is a real talent! And very learn-able. Models and actors spend hours practicing this stuff to learn their best poses. If you want to be IG famous it's worth learning how to pose! And having a nice butt.
posted by fshgrl at 3:05 PM on January 29, 2018


Worth learning how to have a nice butt?
posted by boilermonster at 3:13 PM on January 29, 2018


soren_lorensen: "Doggo pics I can understand but... pert butts in various picturesque locations... why?"

BUTTS LOL
posted by namewithoutwords at 3:23 PM on January 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


That was far more entertaining than I expected. Because of the butts.
posted by lagomorphius at 4:00 PM on January 29, 2018


Worth learning how to have a nice butt?

Butt, seriously.
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:24 PM on January 29, 2018


So... where do you get Tide from?
posted by adept256 at 4:32 PM on January 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


I get my Tide pods from some weird kid that hangs outside the 7-11.
posted by loquacious at 5:03 PM on January 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


boilermonster: "Worth learning how to have a nice butt?"

Well the appearance of a nice butt. You can do a lot with perspective and posing to move up a few points on the 1 to 10 scale.
posted by Mitheral at 5:22 PM on January 29, 2018


MetaFilter is once more overthinking pert butts in picturesque locations.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:31 PM on January 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Oof, the girlfriend coercion sequence in the first video was a turn-off. Hopefully the other videos aren't nearly as annoying.

Instagram personal branding, queer femme edition.
posted by divabat at 5:52 PM on January 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Lets talk about Instagram.

I get a lot out of instagram. I met several really, really good friends on instagram. I get closer to coworkers on instagram. I've recorded my art and hobbies on instagram. I found my tattoo artist on instagram, and I talk to her on instagram, and I think we are close to becoming good friends. I find events on instagram. I find things in my city I never knew about on instagram. If I were ever single or looking, I bet I would meet someone new on instagram much faster than on a swipe-right app.

But most of instagram? ads. Crap. Memes. REPOSTS. Theft of original artwork reposted by accounts with millions of bot followers. Instagram is not blogs because someone owns it. Facebook owns it and wants to make money off of it, so they've set it up with rules, and those rules are hijacked by marketing geniuses. Instead of a million blogs with a million different masters, there's one platform with one secret to success.

Let's talk about Sturgeon's law: 90% of everything is crap. 90% of posts tagged in my city are either: fitness babes, vape shops, hair salons, or photographers. But I scroll through the feed looking for the person posting their hobby. I look for the queer folks. I look for someone who posts a picture of art they made, or food they made, or of something they're passionate about. And I don't treat them like a content creator. I treat them like a potential friend. I ask them questions. If we don't have chemistry, I unfollow them.

Let's talk about being a digital native. It's a joke. It doesn't matter here because the platform is designed to attract even the least technology capable people to click their eyeballs on ads. And as we all know, digital natives don't exist. You know what does exist? Effort. Training. Investigation. Built skills. You get out what you put in. If you open the app, see crap, and say "I'm not getting the experience I want" and quit? You're getting out what you put in.

This is never more true than the recommended / discover feed. That little search button that looks like a magnifying glass? (I don't understand why a magnifying glass has become the ideogram for searching - surely binoculars or a flashlight would be better.) There is an algorithm that pushes content based on what you interact with. Click on butts? You'll see some butts! Click on political posts? That's what you'll get! Click on memes? blam. I think it attaches interest tags to you or something.

I did an experiment where I intentionally clicked pictures of any man with a beard. After two weeks, something *shifted* and my discover feed was stuffed full of..... ripped men in really tight underwear. Not many of them had beards. But they all had muscles and small panties. Go figure. You can reset this in your settings.

I get caught in this trap. Right now I'm seeing a ton of reposts by @amapaday, a ton of pictures with, for some reason, red circles in random spots? a ton of pictures with tits and booties. A ton of tattoos. I need better discipline in curating my digital diet, just like curating my physical diet.

Let's talk about effort. It takes effort to build a good feed with cool people to follow. But if you make the effort, you can make friends and make a good life.

Rebent's rules of thumb: (rule of thumbs?)

* Don't follow accounts that show you a life you wish you had. Instead, follow accounts that show you a life you can engage with today . this is SUPER IMPORTANT. practice self care with who you follow! Don't set yourself up for depression!
* don't follow any person with more than 1000 followers. They will never respond to you or talk to you
* don't follow any repost account that isn't very clear about who they are reposting from. For example, @thesolarcan and @urbansketchers almost always tag the original poster, while @amapaday does not attribute their posts at all.
* Try to interact with people you think are interesting.
* don't let any business accounts follow you. Block them.
* Don't let anyone who follows more than 500 people follow you. They will never see your stuff anyway.
* If you find yourself scrolling past accounts frequently, just unadd them. You can always add the again some day.
* A picture is worth a thousand words, but a few words that show what the picture means to you are incredibly important to helping people engage with who you are.

Here's some cool accounts to follow:
Metafilter's own @josh_cortex_millard for sweet fractal artwork
Metafilter's own @_shumd for cool cooking and photography
Metafilter's own @celsius1414 for some comforting west-coast life from a real cool person
Metafilter's own @gregerskine for an amazing chin and also a baby i guess
Metafiler's own @brotheromara for skulls and teeth and NOLA photography
Metafilter's own @miata_lawdog666_fuck_you for.... honestly i can't describe. For portland.


@physicsfun for fun physics
@lau.rie.mrt for some really delightful travel sketches from a woman in romania
@frantic_benista for japanese power pylons and wrestling masks
@everydayafrica for interesting accounts from a vibrant continent
@thefoxisblack for cute photography from the west coast
@piratemayor for the life of a young man who likes poetry and cold weather from the east coast
@glennsogood for plants and minerals and nature and always learning something
@stllamariabaer for paintings of planets made from desert dust - and she dresses her toddler like a gnome

And listen, follow your local fruit stand. Follow a mom-and-pop tea shop. Follow an art studio that holds events. Follow @discover_yourcity for a while. Get local, get personal.

If you gotta, my instagram here. I might block you.
posted by rebent at 6:45 PM on January 29, 2018 [25 favorites]


Wow it was so much easier to engage only with real people when the commercial marketing folks were totally ignoring us on livejournal.
posted by subdee at 7:01 PM on January 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


So... where do you get Tide from?

The combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun and the rotation of Earth on the oceans.

But I wouldn't recommend washing your clothes in them.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:10 PM on January 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


> divabat:
"Oof, the girlfriend coercion sequence in the first video was a turn-off. Hopefully the other videos aren't nearly as annoying.

Instagram personal branding, queer femme edition."


Dunno.

Trigger warning: Toto/Africa exposure detected in part 3!
posted by Samizdata at 7:14 PM on January 29, 2018


What's going on in Step 2 there? Corporate sponsorship? Look at my butt and buy Tide?

So, The Bloggess had a fantastic post about this phenomenon. It is indeed corporate sponsorship, and that started happening because the corporations sponsored it themselves - offering popular bloggers photos they could run of celebrities holding random promotable objects (Selma Blair wearing a designer scarf, Lou Diamond Phillips drinking a particular bottled water, etc.). Their plan is pretty much:

1. Popular blogger posts picture of famous person with our product.
2. Fans of the blogger and/or fans of the famous person will see the photo of the product and want it.
3. Profit!

Some bloggers started going for it. And so now that's become the way to make your blog profitable - corporate sponsorship.

(The Bloggess chose a different route - joking that she should ask Wil Wheaton for a photo of himself collating paper so the next time she got such a solicitation, she could send them back the photo of Wil to confuse them. And Wil Wheaton then provided such a photo.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:28 PM on January 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


heh, interestingly, celsius1414's account reminds me a lot of my own (@numansquared). I prefer accounts like that more, slices of life and what not. It's a strange line I have where I get envious of people I know personally having a life I wish I did, versus complete strangers and celebrities living those lives, probably because they're strangers.

One of the few exceptions to rebent's rules are celebrities that are not super famous. If you don't have the anxiety of looking at a life that you wish you had, they're usually really neat to follow. A good example is D'Arcy Carden (Janet on The Good Place). Some life stuff with her family, and hanging out with other celebrities, but I really like behind the scene stuff from the show.

I also like comedians like Megan Amram (notice a theme?), who posts infrequently but often with great humor either in the photo itself or the caption.

Then there are comedians like Dulce Sloan (of The Daily Show) who just have hilarious IG stories that you should try not to miss.
posted by numaner at 8:17 PM on January 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


oh oh how could i forget MeFi's own ruminasean for The Daily Show backstage shots!
posted by numaner at 8:25 PM on January 29, 2018


IG is the only form of social media I use and yeah, I like it mostly for slice of life, everyday stuff, funny or beautiful or quirky or whatever, not the glossy celeb lifestyle stuff. It's linked on my profile page and anyone is welcome to follow for more west coast everyday stuff, mostly dogs and nature pics. I have a bunch of random mefites I follow from a similar thread to this a few years ago and I love just catching little glimpses into people's scenes.
posted by mannequito at 8:35 PM on January 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am old.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 8:38 PM on January 29, 2018 [4 favorites]


I don't even own a butt
posted by naju at 1:34 AM on January 30, 2018 [11 favorites]


"Why, I think it's booty!"
posted by loquacious at 1:53 AM on January 30, 2018


Wow those butt videos are excellent.
posted by zymil at 2:43 AM on January 30, 2018


Wow it was so much easier to engage only with real people when the commercial marketing folks were totally ignoring us on livejournal

i mean there was that kerfuffle over those hamfisted pepsi max sponcon attempts
truly, it was a simpler time
posted by halation at 4:03 AM on January 30, 2018


@miata_lawdog666_fuck_you was my IG for a day, but I change my IG name all the time and right now it's @dennis_schrodingers_cat, like Dennis Schroder the basketball player on the Atlanta Hawks.
posted by gucci mane at 6:49 PM on January 31, 2018


I jus re-watched these. I find it interesting that they didn't use Twitter - at all - in their promotional efforts.

The production of these videos is very youtubery but I think behind the scenes look at how these "lifestyle brands" work was really fascinating. Thanks for posting.
posted by device55 at 6:46 AM on February 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


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