If you use Instagram regularly, you are probably familiar with the scenario. Someone has traveled to a scenic place, let’s say Rome. They want to show their followers all the beautiful sights in the eternal city – The Vatican, The Spanish Steps, The Colosseum.
But do they, really?
Usually traveling together with a long-suffering friend (who is mostly there to be a personal photographer), they faithfully tour the well-trodden path, looking not for historical and cultural inspiration but something far more important: a photo opportunity.
They are feeling cute today!
First stop – The Colosseum. Carefully positioned to ensure that other people cannot be seen in the picture (it’s important to give the impression that this well-known tourist trap was just ‘discovered’ by the influencer), instructions are barked out to the ‘friend’ with a scowl. “Take it from a lower angle, my legs look longer that way!”
Then, in an instant, the sudden transformation to pose – sultry eyes, lips protruding, butt out. Cheese!
And so this ancient and atmospheric amphitheater – once used for savage gladiatorial contests at the height of the Roman Empire – is relegated to background fodder; a mere prop used to amplify yet another inane, formulaic photo of a yawningly uninteresting person.
A quick glance of many an ‘influencer’ account shows a similar pattern – most of the photos are just elaborate excuses to show off a pert butt, or a cute smile.
Enter Russian artist Anton Gudim, a master of satirical comics that highlight absurdity and dark humor wherever he sees it. Instagram is a rich source of ridiculousness, so it is natural that he would turn his gaze here to make fun of something that we have accepted as normal.
“It’s based on my own experience, I’ve seen millions of photos like this on Instagram,” Anton told Bored Panda. “It’s not my intention to provide social commentary on the shallow and narcissistic habits of the modern world, that’s for the reader to decide with their own interpretation.”
“My comics are just a way to discover the depths of my imagination,” he continued. “I’m glad that they can inspire and entertain other people. I am not out to make people laugh, but I do believe that it’s important for artists to add a little humor into their works.”
What do you think? Is there some truth in these sarcastic portraits of narcissism? Why do some people feel the need to constantly flaunt their butts online? Is it driven by self-confidence… or insecurity? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Here’s what people had to say about the satirical comics
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