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How to succeed at Instagram without really trying

It's all about Kelvin.


Eve Peyser

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 28, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 1:54 am CDT

This week the Internet cruelly mocked Vogue’s guide to winning Instagram—and rightly so. It was, to be frank, an embarrassing failure on all fronts. I’m a GOOP-certified lifestyle coach and the proud recipient of a certificate in 21st-century communication from the University of Phoenix, so you should let me guide you through the do’s and don’t’s of Instagram instead.

After all, if you want to succeed in any aspect of life, your social media game better be on fleek (Am I using that right? I received my certificate in 21st Century Communication before that slang was popularized and I am doing my best to stay hip). With a little help from yours truly, you’ll go from being a disgusting piece of shit to the fab bee-yotch your high school bullies never thought you’d never become. So buckle the fuck up, OK?

What is an Instagram-Worthy Picture?

In short, anything that makes you look rich.

Food pictures: Ask yourself: “Will this make someone hungry, or will it make them want to throw up?” If the answer is throw up, post the picture. Thinspo for everyone! We’ve all seen cute pictures of sushi boats and kale salads, but what about that greasy 2am drunk meal you threw together that you’d rather forget? Post that.

Pictures with bae: Post pics of you and your bae, preferably kissing. Preferably kissing on a boat. No scratch that, a yacht. If you’re a single loser, post pictures with someone who could be your bae. Keep it ambiguous.

Selfies: The only appropriate selfie to post should involve you sucking on a cucumber, zucchini, or similar vegetable. Anything else is gauche.

Vag pics: If they don’t get reported, go to town. Empower yourself!


Kelvin. Only Kelvin. Kelvin, forever.


Make sure to post 10-30 times per day; feel free to repost the same image if you’re low on content. Anything less is an insult to your followers.


Use the hashtags; all of them. #AllOfThem.

Posted a Kelvin’d-out selfie of you and a cuke on a Tuesday? Then #tbt that shit on Thursday! Add #nofilter, strictly for funsies. Throw in a #WCW and a #MCM just because! And remember: Tag all pics with #followme. It’ll make you seem friendly, fun, approachable, and not at all desperate.

When it comes down to it, social media is easy: All I needed to conquer Instagram was a certificate from a for-profit university and a little bit of confidence. I believe in you, bee-yotch. Now stop reading this darned article and start posting!

TTYL (am I using that right?).

Illustration by Max Fleishman

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*First Published: Aug 28, 2015, 6:50 pm CDT