Some of you may be wondering, who is this Justin Vanderstraaten guy and HOW is he an expert on being Instafamous? And why does he have such a pretentious surname? Well, let me tell you my story.
About a year ago, I was just a regular guy with 974 followers on Instagram. Today, I currently have 12.5k followers. I know you probably think that it’s peanuts compared to some (okay, most) other influencers out there, but dammit just let me have my moment okay? Look ma, I’ve made it in life! I’m famous! Sort of.
So how exactly did I get (sort of) Instafamous? Most of you probably think it’s because I’m dating Rozz. And it is indeed true. I mean, Rozz is so popular that you don’t have to say her full name for people to know who you’re referring to, you know?
And me? I’m just the guy who’s dating her. And who also happens to be 12 years younger. Hey, I’m man enough to admit it. Although I’d like to think that people follow me for my witty comments and charming smize. And shirtless selfies. KIDDING, KIDDING. (But my handle is @justinvanderstraaten by the way. Wink wink.)
So let’s cut to the chase – we all want to be Instafamous, and we all want to be on top (cue Tyra Banks). Maybe it’s the allure of free stuff (sorry, I mean sponsored), or being labelled a ‘celebrity’/’It Girl’/’influencer’ – but whatever it is, the more followers (real, of course) the better right?
After countless cups of coffee (a hipster-approved brew, of course) and hours spent deep in thought, I have come up with a list of ways to become Instafamous. It was a tough job looking through dozens of hot people on Instagram, but hey, someone had to do it for the greater good. Right?
1. Your bio needs to reflect your life accomplishments.
Like Cleo Bachelor 2001. Or Nutrigirl Ambassador. Or Manhunt Runner-up 2012. The list goes on. It doesn’t even matter if you won the damn contest or not, because the point is to give yourself a title and differentiate yourself from the other regular Instagram users. Pfft, too mainstream. If all else fails, use an intellectual quote as your bio description. Don’t worry, your followers will never know you didn’t actually read the book.
If you’re of mixed heritage (or you’ve done enough plastic surgery to look Eurasian), you can always state your ethnicity (real or fake, no one will really know right?) as your profile bio. The more exotic-sounding, the better. Mine reads: ½ Chinese, ¼ British, 1/8 Sabahan and 1/8 Dutch.
Why yes, I WAS indeed in a pageant. One of my finer achievements in life, obviously.
2. Know your crowd.
Okay young Padawan, now that you’ve got your profile sorted, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Just like real life, the Instaworld is divided into many diverse groups and you need to find your niche market. In order to decide which group you belong to, think about which of the following excites you the most:
1. Taking shirtless gym selfies and/or overusing the #namaste hashtag.
2. Making your friends wait before eating, so you can take countless photos of everyone’s food.
3. Forcing your boyfriend to take OOTD photos of you.
4. Using multiple filters and editing apps to make a lamppost look artsy.
If you find that none of the above interests you, do not despair. All you have to do is add multiple generic hashtags (#love #pretty #fun #igsg) and the likes will come rolling in.
Oh Kim…big girls don’t cry. (Source: quickmeme.com)
3. Buy an expensive camera. The fancier, the better.
So you’ve found a community to be a part of? Great. Before you run off to snap photos though, you need to have the right tools for the job. Yes, a camera. Maybe even a DSLR. Because using your iPhone camera just will not suffice, puh-leeze.
Who cares if Instagram was actually created to share spontaneous photos? Spontaneity is so passé. And so what if you have to lug your DSLR around and go to great lengths to stage a “spontaneous” moment? It’s a small price to pay to get more followers and likes.
If you want to take it a step further, edit your photo with Photoshop (Liquify will hide your secrets…) or Lightroom before transferring it back to your phone to post on Instagram. Don’t forget the #nofilter tag.
Kidding, I didn’t really wake up like this. I must admit that I curled my hair just a teeny bit. Quite natural right?
4. Learn how to pose for Instagram.
For aspiring #fashionbloggers and #GymRats, getting the right pose is crucial. It’s the difference between blogshop and boutique, my friend. Learn the right poses and that blogshop knockoff you’re wearing will look like the original. Sort of. If you need a step-by-step guide to poses, read our pictorial guide here (yay, no more awkward arms!).
As for #GymRats – just try to look as cut as possible. Even if you have to suck in to the point where you feel dizzy.
In my spare time, I like to force people to take photos of me striking the most obnoxious poses possible. It’s all in the name of being Instafamous, my friend.
5. Wear what the cool kids are wearing.
Now that you’ve got your poses down pat, it’s time to discuss your attire. I mean, you can’t just go around posing in any old thing, can you?! For guys, the collective female consensus is that any man looks good in a suit. Nevermind if it’s hot as hell outside, or if you have no particular reason to be parading around in a suit – you’ll still have #swag. The only exception to this is if you’re at the gym, where barely-there singlets are the way to go. Don’t you know? Cleavage is unisex, especially if it spills out of your tank top in the most vulgar way possible.
For ladies, the rule of thumb is that less clothing = more followers. #truestory Don’t shy away from flaunting your assets, especially if you’ve got a #buttfie worth looking at (that’s ‘butt selfie’ to the uninitiated). After all, #ProgressCheck and #fitspo right? Don’t forget your #lululemon gear too.
Oh and don’t just take one photo. It’ll never be Instagram-worthy enough on the first try, pfft. Take multiple photos with different poses and expressions, so you can have a selection to pick from.
I mean, look at my abs yo. (Source: weknowmemes.com)
5. Master the art of the Humblebrag.
Congratulations! You’re almost ready to upload your picture and start your meteoric rise to fame. Almost. You still have to write your caption, duh.
When writing a caption for your photo, the aim is to encapsulate how awesome your life is in under 100 words…without sounding like a cocky prick. Enter the Humblebrag. Try using a self-deprecating line like “I don’t know why they picked me as Hottest Babe hee!” when posting that photo of your modelling ad. Trust me, the affirmations will come rolling in.
Or if your boyfriend picked you up and brought you flowers, a humblebrag caption like ‘OMG my baby picked me up in a #Lamborghini even though I told him he didn’t have to! #blessed’ will do the trick.
And that’s basically it – @justinvanderstraaten ‘s guide to being Instafamous. If you’re too lazy to follow my awesome tips then well, you just have to date a celebrity. Like me.
If that doesn’t work, try hanging around them and snapping some quick gratuitous photos. With some luck and patience, you just might get a like or comment from that celebrity, hence validating your quest to become Instafamous. Do not be discouraged if it doesn’t work at first, just repeat until you’re successful and/or famous. After all, your old friends will understand why you can’t hang out with them anymore. Right?