I copied Selena Gomez’s Instagram for a week, and my friends really hated it
‘What’s going on here’
When I found out Selena Gomez is the most-followed person on Instagram, I was kind of shocked.
She's a gorgeous celebrity who's had a great year, musically if not romantically, so it makes sense that she'd have a lot of followers. But… the most? More than Chrissy Teigen or Beyoncé or one of those boring meme accounts like FuckJerry?
I found myself scrolling through Selena's feed, trying to understand how she managed to claw her way to the top, but just looking wasn't enough. I decided to recreate Selena's photos myself to see if I could also recreate her internet success. It went… okay.
Post #1: Peak thirst trap
This picture wound up not only being my most popular faux-Selena post, but my most-liked Instagram post ever and honestly, I was kind of pissed. Don't get me wrong: I fucking love attention. But all I did here was dress up a little, take a selfie in front of my curtains and filter the shit out of it. I'm pretty sure I was wearing pajama pants when I took this.
That's way less effort than I normally put into an Instagram post! What the fuck! I studied abroad and none of my posts from that did numbers like this one.
The comments on this picture were overwhelmingly positive. Even though I was a little annoyed, I was also fully buzzed on all of the attention.
Post #2: Sponsored content
I'm 100 percent taking this picture down after this article gets published because it's extremely off-brand and doesn't make sense. I don't drink soda unless there's liquor involved, and there are no lyrics on this bottle anyway, mine or otherwise.
People were still happy to gas me up about this picture, but some skeptics began to emerge. Others were supportive, but still noted the stylistic shift in my content. After this post, I seriously considered becoming an Instagram influencer for like three hours because my ego was through the roof. Love my fans!
Post #3: The couple 'gram
Did we ever have a couple portmanteau for Selena and The Weeknd? Seleeknd? Weelena? RIP regardless. My handsome and tolerant roommate Zac helped me recreate this iconic selfie, but it was really rainy and the lighting was weird, so we didn't manage to get any greenery in the background of our copy.
This was when people really started to catch on that something was afoot, which definitely dented my confidence. One of my friends asked me if I was doing this for an article and I had to text her to tell her to delete her comment. I also received the following texts:
The jig was almost up, but I was still chasing that high from my previous pictures, so I 'grammed one last time to see if I could seal the deal.
Post #4: The pensive nature shot
Cards on the table: I got kind of lazy for this picture. I forgot to add the two wolf emojis into the caption, and I didn't try that hard to imitate Selena's background. My friend called this post "weird" in a text message and I got mad at him, but it is weird. It is not the kind of thing you can get away with successfully putting on Instagram if you are not a mega-celebrity.
Two of these comments are from my coworkers so that's basically just trolling, and even though everyone else was positive, I knew my reign was over. I am not Selena Gomez, and I never will be.
At the start of this experiment, I assumed that imitating Selena would be relatively easy, but a lot of the pictures I set out to copy required posing that I simply couldn't do. I'm not an expert at contorting my body into a flattering shape while lying on the ground or lounging in a sports bra — that's generally when I look the worst. There's a reason most of my solo shots are taken standing up!
Also, Selena has a way more exciting and photo-worthy life than I do. She's a famous performer who constantly travels, sings onstage, goes to award shows and hangs out with other famous people. I pretty much come to work and then go back to my apartment and watch true crime documentaries until I pass out.
Does Selena Gomez deserve to be the most-followed person on Instagram? Is there anything to learn from gazing into the abyss of celebrity? I guess I know a little bit more about my "angles" than I used to.
And now I've finally confirmed that if I need quick shot of affirmation, I'm only a suggestive selfie away. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some fake candids to post.
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