Culture

Goodnight, Goodnight Hipster Barbie

It was beautiful while it lasted, Socality Barbie.

The famously #liveauthentic, #exploreeverything Instagram account that parodied the overly fabricated social media accounts of many millennials has finally revealed its creator, a wedding photographer from Portland, Oregon called Darby Cisneros.

As readers can see in Cisneros’ post above, she believes that the Instagram account has served its purpose in satirising the ironic homogeneity of the contemporary millennial’s desire for individuality.

She was originally prompted to do create the account after seeing on Instagram how many of her peers sought to create a glorified online persona.

“People were all taking the same pictures in the same places and using the same captions. I couldn’t tell any of their pictures apart so I thought, ‘What better way to make my point than with a mass-produced doll?’”

https://instagram.com/p/3c6hcunjMW

 

Soon after WIRED featured Cisneros’ feed, Socality Barbie’s number of followers rocketed to the point where she now has over 1.3 million fans.

In her first interview with WIRED, she commented on why she believed Socality Barbie was so popular:

“I think it’s because she’s so relatable. Either your Instagram looks just like hers or you know at least one person whose Instagram does.”

https://instagram.com/p/47HxCdnjAo/

“I had never intended on it being a long term project. I wanted to use it as my own outlet to say things about social media that I’ve always wanted to say. I said all I wanted to say with SB.”

https://instagram.com/p/5DXVrqHjPU/

The timing of this social media exit may seem coincidentally close to Essena O’Neill’s very public departure from Instagram earlier this week, but Cisneros mentioned to Buzzfeed that O’Neill had nothing to do with it:

“I had decided a month ago that I was going to end the account today,” she said. “It’s funny how it worked out that way though. I think it was very brave of Essena to do what she did. I give her big props.”

https://instagram.com/p/6DT_tBHjKO/

Cisnero has always understood the appeal of posting beautiful photos and causing envy; in fact, most photographers probably understand the need for an audience as well.

“I get it, it’s pretty to look at. But it’s so dishonest. Nobody actually lives like this. And it’s so overdone that it’s becoming boring.”

https://instagram.com/p/6kwOtlHjL5/

It’s just that as with anything else, she knows it’s easy to get sucked into appearances.

“My view on social media hasn’t really changed much, but it was cool to see how many people were on the same page as Socality Barbie. More and more people are speaking out about how ridiculous social media has become.”

https://instagram.com/p/629PD8HjKG/

In the grand scheme of things, Socality Barbie will probably be forgotten by next week. But Cisneros’ meticulously photographed experiment might at least have succeeded in making over 1 million people feel a little sheepish about their online exultations and humblebrags—which is surely something we can thank her for.