W.W.I.N.: INSTA 101


In our frivolous first-world society, there’s a correct and incorrect method to just about everything: Meats must be sliced against the grain. Liquor then beer, you’re in the clear. Front to back, ladies, front to back.

And unless tough meat, barfy weekends and UTI’s are your jam, the same convenance can/should be applied to Instagram. Yes you spammers, serial hashtag-ers and 12-year-olds-who-should-be-outside-playing-kickball, this is an #instavention. There are RULES. Between my mother treating comments like personal messages (hello son, how are you?) and tweens reminding us to “keep calm and Gangnam Style,” it’s time to lay down the #instalaw.

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We begin with basic truths: the introductory, unequivocal certainties of #instagrology. You can memorize these.

1. No more sushi at artistic angles. You may be the next Michaelangelo, fair, but trust me: Bamboo Sushi is not your Sistine Chapel. Enough is enough.


2. Hashtags are a necessary evil but girl...

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3. Toaster filter = Worst filter. Take my word for it.


 *Brannan comes in at a close second

4. Four consecutive posts automates:


5. No Inspirational Quotes. Ever. I type with stern tone on this one, Kimberly. You’ve got a great ass that I like to see appear on my feed from time to time, but save the emotional outbursts for Tumblr and your mother. Uplifting words are appropriate in one setting and one setting only: the confides of bathroom stalls, wherein I can draw penises over things.


 *note, this violation of Truth 5 simultaneously demonstrates Truth 3

6. Clear pictures only. I don’t care if you’re riding a bike, shaking a baby or documenting an alien invasion – KEEP IT CLEAN N CLEAR.





With our mastery of the basics, it’s time to get #nextlevel. First, the #selfie.

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You’re artsy, considerably fartsy and ultimately too modest to “brand” yourself, whatever that means, but let’s get real: Your friends don’t care. They don’t care about your #perfect morning by the bay window. They don’t care that HOLY SHIT! YOU JUST FOUND YOUR OLD #GAMEBOY! They don’t care about your #dinner, your #pets, your parents’ #vintage pictures, your #view or whatever else you’re observing. They want to see you. It’s a fine line, true, but nobody knows where the hell that line is anymore anyway. As Solestruck’s shameless selfie connoisseur, I present Selfie 101.

Mirror selfies. Upon accepting the inevitable smell of douche that shall exude from doing so, there is but one requisite to nailing a mirror selfie: an element of Amazing. Amazing outfit, Amazing bathroom, Amazing wig, Amazing location, Amazing mirror, Amazing something. Otherwise, you’re just some egomaniac trying to remind the world that you exist–like me.


Show off your amazing top, prance around a famous landmark or beautiful store, be @princepelayo in general, or at least have a bun in the oven. #amandabynes #justbecause

Close-ups. So you’re not giving yourself four blissful feet of distance and going right to the face, eh? Bravo, your zeal is admirable. This one’s simple: take a minute to double-check your hotness, pout them lips and, how to say, #fuckthahaterz…


…unless, of course, you utilize the greatest trick to close-ups: covering your face. Whether with giant sunglasses, your hands or even your baby, paradoxically veiling yourself distracts ever so slightly from your blatant narcissism, seemingly enhancing your good looks–at least the parts that are visible.

Fulfilling the selfie trifecta, selfies that aren’t selfies are actually the best of all. It solicits either asking, “can you take a picture of me?” or demanding someone “send me that pic!” but it’s worth the reward. You’re having oodles of fun and being followed by personal paparazzi–yay for you, popular kid who doesn’t need to take his/her own picture!


Frolick at the All American Girl store, phone your computer, show off your new shoes or just look real cute.

Crucial tip: if you’re getting your picture taken, own it. Save the faux-casual, blasé act for your modeling gig.

And finally, since we are shoe people here at Solestruck (now you’ve got a friend in the shoe business!) it is perhaps mutually beneficial to reveal the secret world of shoe selfies. You take cute pictures of your shoes and hashtag #solestruckfanregram, and we get to use said cute picture for our own instagram! It’s a win/win!


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This angle is a definite no-no.
So are these dumpy things:

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The objective is to show off the shoe, yes, but having not-fat-or-chunky legs is considered a bonus. The key is to venture down to shoe level and photograph diagonally: flatters your skankles (get it?) while showing the shoe off fully. Think angular-sushi-pictures. Achieving this perspective, however, isn’t quite as natural-looking:




You’ve got the angle, now listen closely: bend that back leg. In fact, no matter what angle, bend. that. back. leg. Doing so will separate your legs; and all legs could use separation, trust me.



Or leggings. Or socks. Or whatever your shoe in question requires to complete the looque. ‘Tis a minuscule styling step that makes a big difference.


creepy flasher on the L, cool dude with super cool Gourmet sneakers on the R

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voilà, you are now an #instapro!

Yet above my dry, sarcastic #instabitchery, may I remind you:
gram what you gram and do what you want. Have fun and express yourself.

Follow Solestruck:
@solestruck | @solestruck_mens

Follow these amazing accounts:
hilarious @thatlookslikeadick
ferocious @angelsmasturbatingsoftly
fearless @princepelayo
aspirational @stopitrightnow
sharp @hapsical
grungy @shelleybuche
beautiful @meowiie


Cover image by the talented Monica Ramos

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