To be honest, the prospect of writing a post about my favourite pretty pictures has been making my mouth water for a couple of weeks now.
The side of me that loves flounces and ruffles is as intrinsic to my personality as the part of me that’s obsessed with campaigning for better sex education. If you believe in astrology, then I am a true Gemini. And, like any Gemini, the logical side of me knows it’s a crock but the dreamer wants to think that I’m not the only seething mass of contradictions in the world. I mean, I know I’m not normal but I don’t want to be weird. That’s not so unusual, right?
And, in exactly the same way, my tastes are both high and low brow. I know I should spend my time looking at Vogue editorial and conceptual art but I’ve done that every day since I was about 13. I need a break. I need a little funny, a little cosy or a little yummy every so often.
I also need a little reality. People aren’t all models. They aren’t all young. They aren’t all thin. They aren’t all glamorous. Some of the people I follow most are just like us. The mother, the student, the self employed, the keen amateur, the part timer. You can follow the Instagram and Pinterest big hitters but you miss out. The appeal of the little account – to me – is the intimacy. You can get to know the poster. I’m sorry but I’m a sucker for the occasional wedding photo or a candid shot or an outtake or…the list is endless. I also want to read notes that have some resonance for me.
Sometimes I look quite the suburban glamazon, sometimes I have child vomit on my jumper. Quite often actually. I may look like I can’t cook but I have to. Admittedly, most of the time I survive on a diet of coffee and chocolate but my children eat pretty well. Sometimes I’m a firebrand – but even they don’t always burn brightly.
Basically, I use Instagram and Pinterest as therapy. I love them – they’re perfect for the person who has artistic pretensions and enjoys making lists. Tick and tick.
So here are my top five Instagram accounts – in no particular order of preference:
Bum Safari is a project run to draw attention to the plight of the homeless. It’s not very uplifting but the photos are beautiful and the narrative is often fascinating. Only delve if your coffee has been strong.
Do More, Wear Less is a boudoir photography project with a twist. The pictures are naturally lit and rarely shot in studios specifically designed for purpose. If at all actually. The project started as boudoir photography for lgbt couples. Now it’s boudoir photography at its least affected. Okay, everybody’s in their nicest underwear – but the subjects don’t look like bubblegum Americana.
That suits me. I don’t look like a china doll when I have sex. None of us do. Well, on the very dull nights when I can file my nails at the same time, I suppose…
I digress. My point is that it’s clever. They can put most of the work on Instagram, for goodness’ sake. All you need to be sexy is a little lip biting and a finger where it shouldn’t be, after all. And, yes, sometimes I want to look at something hot.
The School Run Style blog is great. The pictures aren’t fussy. The looks aren’t Devil Wears Prada. The styling takes mum tums and slightly less firm bodies into consideration but is still chic and pretty sexy, actually.
Even I lose my mojo sometimes and it’s nice to have a reference for those days.
The Collective Guide is borderline hilarious, borderline torture for me. It’s megawatt lusciousness but also a bit snugly. Don’t laugh. It’s how I want my life to be.
I’m not a teenage girl – I’m not going to sell my kids for this shit but it’s nice to look at and, like a true voyeur, I always make sure I have something handy to stroke at the same time. A cashmere scarf is a particular favourite.
No, I didn’t go for Chanel. I was talking to someone recently and I said ‘you can bury my in Chanel but I want to live in Diane von Furstenberg’.
I will always stand by that. DVF is an inspiration for me. She was a princess whose fairytale crumbled. After a pretty shitty divorce, she had to go it alone with her kids and she designed the clothes that she needed for work and sold them to all the women who were busy getting their feet in professional doors during the 70s. Then she went out to Studio 54 with Andy Warhol at the weekend. I’m stopping there because I’m writing an article about her at the moment and I may have lost objectivity…
Anyway, there you have it: the Sophie’s Voice approved list of Instagram accounts. Actually, that’s just a fraction. You can always click here to check out my page and see who else I follow. A word of warning – I’m a terrible photographer. I’ll close with all the proof you’ll need.
It’s good to be back.