Five Celebrities With Unexpectedly Great Instagram Accounts
From Ina Garten to Arnold Schwarzenegger, these celebs are getting loose on Instagram.
Most people know January Jones as Betty Draper in Mad Men. She was also featured in Maxim's Hot Women of 2002, X-Men: First Class, and The Last Man on Earth — and she successfully gave birth to a son without revealing who the baby daddy is. Like Betty Draper, it's easy to write her off as a pretty white woman without a lot going on behind the porcelain skin and blue eyes. But January is like the character in a movie where an alien comes to Earth and decides to disguise themself as a hot girl to confuse everyone. She's so deeply, unexpectedly, wonderfully weird.
She's really into this LED facial mask. She looked like this as a kid. She's deadpan and in on the joke. She's pals with Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, but even pre–COVID-19, she mostly seemed to hang out with her pool and her face masks, often while playing a lot of dress-up. That's probably why I like her so much: She was figuring out how to have fun with the small world around her long before we were forced into isolation. January Jones has a pool, a lot of money, a seemingly endless supply of bikinis, and thousands to spend on skincare. She's not really relatable. But delighting in drinking Coors Light out of a straw sure is. —Anne Helen Petersen
The Barefoot Contessa made headlines last month when she posted a video of her making the world’s biggest personal cocktail, which has delightful zany-mom-stuck-at-home energy. Though Ina’s feed is still full of recipes, particularly for ultimate pandemic comfort food — soups, pastas, bread, big cheesy bowls of potatoes — she’ll cop to being “not proud” of herself when resorting to a frozen waffle topped with peanut butter and jelly. On Monday of “Week Whatever” in quarantine, she baked hot dogs wrapped in puff pastry for dinner, which is such an aspirational Gourmet Dirtbag meal that I might have to make it myself. When a lot of us have nothing better to do right now than try elaborate new recipes and share the results on social media, I’ve felt a little bummed out that I’m not more of a domestic goddess type; I’m far more likely to be eating frozen chicken nuggets for a weekday dinner than anything requiring forethought or real effort. It’s comforting to know that even Ina has those days, too. —Shannon Keating
Arnold has gone viral more than once for his mini pony and donkey, who frolic around his Los Angeles property. He also lets them in the house and eats with them, even sharing his cookies with them. There’s nothing more soothing than hitting pause on watching the collapse of society and doing a quick search to see what Whiskey and Lulu are up to today. And Arnold uses their virality to make merch that supports frontline workers. He also posts amazing videos of his workouts — how is this man still so limber? — because, as he says, “We cannot control the virus, but we can control our fitness.”
As the former governor of California, he’s trying to do his part with his massive platform to keep people informed and to urge them to stay home. Obviously, that’s much easier to do so when you live in a palace with a menagerie of adorable pets to play chess with, but I still appreciate him letting us into his wacky world. But what struck me the most was a photo he posted recently of himself in downtown LA. He, the Terminator, rode his bike down the city’s nearly empty streets, totally anonymous in his mask. I felt his profound freedom in being able to do whatever he wanted totally unencumbered, because for once no one knew who he was. —Karolina Waclawiak
My literal career is writing about influencers, and I am here to tell you that Paige Desorbo from the Bravo reality TV show Summer House is a GREAT one. She never posts too many stories, she delivers great style and beauty tips that are actually helpful, and she can be funny, recapping celebrity gossip under the hashtag #FrontPaigeNews. In short, she gives me what I want from my lifestyle influencers: a nice little distraction from the world that I can get lost in for a few minutes, then move on with my day.
A few weeks ago, Paige posted a series of Instagram stories where she showed us how to apply makeup with a line of extremely expensive brushes. Watching those stories, I felt calmer than I have in months. We all need a space right now where we can just turn off our brains, stop worrying, and escape from reality. Thank you, Paige, for providing that for me. —Stephanie McNeal
There’s no question that Rihanna has been one of the savviest celebrities in the midst of this crisis. She doesn’t post very much on her IG, which makes her appearances on the ‘gram that much more of an Event. When she’s not clapping back at thirsty Drake during D-Nice’s quarantine party (“Give Drake some water” is a *chef’s kiss* line), she’s posting snippets of her YouTube makeup tutorials, which are a relaxing, endearing mess. Her most recent one, “Shots & Swatches,” features Rihanna and two friends doing shots after showing off her makeup brand’s new line of blushes. While other celebs threaten to overexpose themselves, Rihanna posts the occasional thirst trap and donates to a bunch of organizations behind the scenes, reaping a ton of positive press as a result. Props to this cunning social media queen. —Tomi Obaro ●