Instagram stories are the new Tumblr. Here’s how to get the cool girl look
It’s all about the aesthetic
by Una Dabiero
If you're on this website, there's a huge chance you were (or continue to be) a Tumblr hoe. You spent hours curating the perfect Tumblr aesthetic, that somehow still let you post quasi-nudes and poems you scribbled on the walls of any nearby public bathroom.
What if I told you the era of Tumblr-hoeing was back and probably (definitely) better?
Instagram stories are 2018's Tumblr. More and more celebrities and influencers are using their Insta stories to build an aesthetic rather than giving their followers a play-by-play of their day.
Rather than having the aesthetic of a typical Instagram feed, which usually involves hot pics of important events, cute outfits, or cool things we see IRL, stories are taking on a more Tumblr-esque role. It's recently on-trend to show your followers you're cool by posting aesthetically-pleasing stories that highlight cultural awareness or at least, awareness of what editing apps and streaming services are in right now.
Here's a few ways to amp up your Insta story style. Don't worry, you've got tons of practice from 2012 Tumblr.
Include art to really build your ~cool girl~ brand
Like on a Tumblr page, recent Instagram stars have been sharing art pieces on their stories. Whether the photos speak to you or just look good on your feed, including art on your story adds an edge that keeps your followers coming back. Involving art also suggests vulnerability, which makes you appealing to others who get off on the voyeurism of social media (aka, all of us.)
Try finding art pieces on Tumblr, artists' Twitter accounts, or other photo-sharing sites.
Also, it's always best to credit the artist, even if Bella Hadid notoriously doesn't.
Post artsy photos of everyday life rather than photos of what you're doing
In the old days of Instagram, we were constantly posting photos of meals, purchases, or nights out. Now, there's a greater emphasis on exploring the environments we're in rather than what we're doing in them. Taking aesthetically-pleasing photos of things you see is the key to a busy and successful Insta story.
You can even dress up photos of clothing or accessories by making the picture less about the piece and more about the vibe you're creating with your outfit. This makes photos more compelling and gives them a more complex aesthetic.
Post routine Spotify or Apple Music screenshots to show your followers what you're listening to
It's no longer enough to look cool on Instagram, you also need to ~be~ cool. One way to achieve this #ItGirl persona is sharing your music taste via Spotify or Apple Music screenshots.
Basically all the celebrities are doing this right now. It's best to share screenshots of unique artists or songs you're listening to, rather than sharing your love for Taylor Swift's discography. If we wanted basic, we would tune into KISS FM.
Remember the golden rule of Tumblr: Thou shalt pretend to be deeper than thy friends.
Include some vintage photos and clips
Speaking of, an easy way to score a trendy Insta story aesthetic is the inclusion of vintage photos and clips. If you're watching any old sitcoms, watching old concert videos on YouTube, or looking at old Cindy Crawford prints, take a quick screenshot and upload it.
Nostalgia is always in, and this shows you're on board with the vintage trend.
And if you're going to post photos of yourself, here are some ground rules
We've moved past the days of selfies and mirror pics on our stories (unless they're done ironically, which requires an entirely different guide.) Instead, Instagram stories require an Instagram-quality photo that has often been tweaked to make it interesting enough to watch via the story feed.
To post a photo of yourself on your newly-beautified story, choose a high-quality pic, slap some effects on it to match your aesthetic, and add other elements like a tag or location to make it dynamic. We aren't here for you, we're here for the content, bitch.