An Open Letter To Photogenic People

Hey, guys,

Hold on, hold on, put the iPhones down for a second… ironically, you’re the only people who don’t even really need Instagram, and yet I’m pretty sure you’re the ones keeping it afloat — well, you and the people who won’t stop taking pictures of their food, but I digress.

Anyway, I just need your attention for a few minutes, because I feel like those of us who have never met a candid photo of them that didn’t look like a rabies-riddled warthog freshly escaped from its cage have had enough. I mean, don’t get me wrong, everyone likes looking at pretty — and the overwhelming flood of “likes” or “reblogs” or “retweets” on all of the photos you post must reassure you that such is the case. The comments along the lines of “OH MY GOD Y ARE U SO PRETTY IT ISN’T FAIR UGHHHH,” as lighthearted as they may seem, are actually rather serious. We constantly see your photos and ask ourselves, “Why does God dole out physical beauty so sparingly that some of us get far more than any one human needs, and some of us look like a limp bowl of mashed vegetables in photos?”

I mean, clearly you know that you look beautiful in pictures — so post away! Just don’t add insult to injury. If you’re the girl whose Tumblr is almost entirely comprised of heavily filtered photos of you looking beautiful and sad in an array of clothes that I probably can’t afford/would look chunky in, at least don’t tag them with such falsely self-deprecating captions as “Ugly girl drinking tea,” or, “Why am I even doing this?” BITCH QUIET. You know that you look gorgeous, because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be posting photos like this — you would be spending your internet time like the rest of us plebeians, scouring all social media for horrible candids someone else cruelly posted of you and promptly detagging. You would be carefully selecting profile pictures that put you at least two points higher on the hotness scale than you actually are. Hell, you might even be like me, and have a cartoon as your Twitter photo #noshame.

And if you’re the aspiring male model whose Facebook pictures are just flawless demonstrations of masculine beauty and the perfect amount of chest hair, there is no need to put them up with the question, “What do we think of this one?” You know what we think. We think that you look like a god damned ray of sunshine and we love looking at you while crying softly to ourselves and plowing through a box of Oreos like a wood chipper. Okay? Are you happy now? You’re beautiful, congratulations.

Also, by the by, why are you guys constantly going on random photo shoots, even when you have no interest in actual modeling? Are there just people who are so unbelievably beautiful that photographers stop them in the street and are like “Let’s set up a time for us to go into the woods and you to look ethereal and smolder for a while, just for fun”? Does that happen? Please tell me that doesn’t happen.

I’m just saying that it’s so hard to navigate social media when you’re living in constant fear that at any moment, someone’s going to put up a mid-laugh party photo and you will look like you have 17 chins, whereas your photogenic friend just looks like they were caught off-guard during a particularly peppy Ralph Lauren photoshoot. “Oh,” they seem to be saying, “There’s a camera there? Hello!” Just appreciate that you guys won the genetic lottery, and beyond that, have the kind of beauty that translates directly into celluloid. The rest of us would kill for that. So just own it, be proud, and there’s no need to rub it in our faces with an “Oh, gosh, what a terrible photo! Tee hee!” — you don’t have to pretend like you’re not as fabulous as you are, it only makes the actual photos all the more brutal.

Oh, and, if you dare make your profile picture a shot of the two of us where you look like Cinderella and I look like your evil, drunk stepsister — I will f-cking kill you.


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Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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