How To Be Authentic About Faking Your Instagram Photos

We live in a virtual reality of fake skies and Facetune, so at the very least let’s be honest about it? Also, cute kids!

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We live in a virtual reality of fake skies and Facetune, so at the very least let’s be honest about it?

Since Greek mythology, people have loved to build people up — only to tear them down. It’s celebrity culture, and now it’s influencer culture.

One woman, however, managed to get ahead of a brewing teardown by just being totally honest about it.

Tupi Saravia is a Buenos Aires–based travel Instagrammer with more than 315,000 followers. She was first called out in late August after people began noticing her posts from different days and locations had the same cloud formations in the sky. She was accused of editing them in, and people were sad that we’re living in a time where Instagram stars are succumbing to these pressures of perfection. (Even every cloud needs to be perfect!)

Then something refreshing happened. When I reached out to Saravia, she wrote back almost immediately. She said, yeah, I edited in some clouds!

“I used an app called Quickshot to help the composition of the photograph when the sky is burned or overexposed,” she added.

We chatted a little more, and she told me she’s never been shy or secretive about her Instagram edits to her followers. “They were always aware about this because I never hide it,” she said.

Cut to this week. Quickshot, the app Saravia uses, told me it’s now working with the influencer to design new fake clouds.

We can certainly have a debate about the merits and morals of Saravia’s photo-editing habits, and whether this new gig is deserved. But if we already live in a lawless and cosmetic virtual world, the next best thing is to admit to your enabling habits. She didn’t try to justify, or cover up, or deflect. She did what she did, and she said she did what she did. The smallish scandal starts and stops there.

I followed up with Saravia again this week. I asked her how she felt about the controversy and how she handled it. She believes her management of it all came down to “honesty” — even if that was about faking nature.

I think you expect me to talk about the Caroline Calloway/Natalie Beach essay because this is an influencer newsletter...

But I won’t.

OK, I will a little:

For a number of reasons, this drama is no longer fun and frivolous to indulge. It’s sad and destructive, and I’d like to move further away from it.

So instead I’m going to take the rest of this newsletter space to show you these cool-ass kids in coolhunting, monochromatic fits.

Look at these cool-ass kids in cool earth-tone fits!

There are several Instagram accounts based in South Korea that sell clothing for babies and toddlers. The pages and brands range from massive accounts with nearly 800,000 followers to some more modestly successful ones with 47,000 followers.

As much as I’d like to believe people are following these accounts to get the latest updates on new clothing lines, I’m sure most of them, like me, are here to squee over the adorable, tiny Korean tots modeling the clothes.

They are so stylish and so small. And they appear to be the children of the clothing designers.

Do I believe parents should exercise extreme discretion before putting their small children on the open internet (if not warding them against it outright)? Yes. But am I also extremely charmed and influenced by these teeny-tiny trendsetters? Also yes.

Until next time — photoshop whatever you want, but please don’t gaslight the rest of us into thinking we don’t know you’re doing it,


Want more? Here are other stories we were following this week.

Kids YouTube channel Ryan ToysReview has been slapped with an FTC complaint. The mega-popular kids YouTube channel Ryan ToysReview has been accused of tricking preschoolers into watching ads in a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission by a consumer watchdog.

Amazon is now hiring influ­en­cers, but what does it mean to be an “Amazon Influ­en­cer”? Screen Shot magazine asks, and aims to answer, “Who exactly is Amazon’s programme targeting, and how is it beneficial?”

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