Instagram isn’t everything. But it’s fun and addictive, full of mums like you and mums you can only dream of being like. Take a look at my fond categorising and tell me . . which are you?
Rebels with and without a cause
They care passionately about things that matter. You’re jealous of the way they can make even the most mundane Instagram post into a call for action – and it works, every time. They inspire people. They have drive, and breezily deal with gender issues, veganism, consumerism and plastic waste before they’ve had their first sip of fair-trade coffee from a stainless steel thermos – if they haven’t cut it out for January, that is. They have cool hair, whether it’s pink, blue or just tousled. They rock a nose ring. Their kids have better wardrobes then you ever will – think vintage, bold colours and gender neutral, obvs – and are happy, chilled out little people exploring the city in their own way. Sometimes, the honesty of these mums blows you away. They are open about everything and aren’t afraid to put uncomprehending shop assistants and sexist in-laws in their place. You think they’ve got it sussed – show them a sale at Lush though, and they’ll lose. their. shit.
The big names
Does this category even need an introduction? They’re so big you don’t see their posts anymore, they’re lost in the algorithm – not that they need the algorithm to work for them, they’re owning it. You’ll see them every day on Stories, making spilling your heart out to your phone look effortless, no matter how public the location. Everything they wear instantly sells out, handy then that they have an enduring, perhaps obsessive, love for small brands who appreciate the attention. With great power, comes great responsibility, and along with the small brands mantra there’s a strong lean towards body positivity. They post pictures of themselves in their swimwear and hundreds of thousands of women feel better about their stomachs. They stick two fingers up at diets but still look good, natch. They rope in their Insta celebrity friends for their charity nights, podcasts and trips, while Instagram watches open-mouthed.
The tired ones
You can’t see her, but she’s there. She doesn’t sleep, but observes the world around her through bloodshot, fatigued eyes. She veers between fetishising coffee and posting Team No Sleep slogans on her page to feeling broken, tired and oh so tired. She wants to talk about how tired she is and jumps on every post complaining about sleep with a zeal she used to feel for a Net-a-Porter sale. She sees young men snoozing on the tube and wants to shake them, tell them they don’t know what being tired is. Get past the exhaustion, and you’ll find someone lovely, wry and funny, someone who cares about things other then REM cycles and who would love to get out her joggers and put some lipstick on .. if she could just get some sleep. She doesn’t get too involved in Instagram but scrolls, blankly, when her children are finally down. Sometimes, she posts mournful Stories talking about sleep deprivation, wondering if anyone can hear her. We’ve all been her, but none of us are going to be her forever. I promise you that.
The overnight hits
You’ve been watching their Stories for ages and always knew they had something, quietly appreciating their genius and wishing you could be as observant / honest / stylish / downright hilarious. When you started following them, they headed a small community who knew they really could be friends with this woman IRL. Slowly, their popularity catches on and it’s no urban Insta myth – they’re featured in a magazine, they’re the recipient of a shout-out from a Big Name, their blog takes off – however it happens, you’ve watched them go from niche to influencer and while you feel a sense of pride, you still class yourself as one of the originals. Only you and a few hundreds others really know this person. Sad, maybe, but therein lies the genius of the main players – they’re too relatable, they could never stay contained on beginner level. Enjoy them before they get so big they turn the DMs on their Stories off and you can’t chat to them anymore.
The style maven
These women know how to pull a look together. While you are stuck in a Breton top and Converse rut she knows, instinctively, what will look both casual at soft play and cutting edge when she posts a picture to Instagram later. She’s a big fan of the mama merch, and looks sublime in her gold mama slogan necklace and mother tee. Her posts are flawless – she’s happy, she and her kids look cool and her hair is perfect in every one. When you see her in real life, you feel a bit starstruck. And a bit fat. She can make a stripy top from M&S look like a must-have. When she wears ASOS, it doesn’t look crumpled and cheap, it looks designer and very cool. She’s full of useful beauty tips and is frequently offering discount codes to her followers, who snap it up hoping they can capture a bit of her magic. Here’s a tip from bitter personal experience – you can’t. She’s a gorgeous freak of nature. But she’s a kind one, always happy to share where her clothes are from and how to wear them. Listen and learn, my friend. Listen and learn.
The social butterfly
She’s everywhere you want to be. She’s at the coolest events all round the city you’ve never heard of. She’s friends with everyone. She’s vivacious, bubbly and great fun, although she’s honest too – if she’s not having a good day, she doesn’t hide it. Her openness is refreshing and means, unlike the Big Names who frequent these same events, she is always approachable. You want to be friends with her, and her intuitive grasp of social situations means she quickly puts others at their ease. You’ll find her tagging her circle of pals in her Insta posts, rocking her Scamp & Dude sweater and making dentist appointments seem fun. You’ll never see her embracing Dry January or extolling the benefits of going vegan.
The too chilled for this
There’s more to life than Instagram. I mean, it’s an app. Follower numbers, likes and hashtags don’t concern these wise ones. They love being inspired by other’s posts, seeing their friend’s children and sharing warm, happy pics of their own. These people are normal. They are . . healthy, and well-adjusted. Friendly, even. Treat with caution.