In the influencer-dominated world of Instagram lie countless of curated feeds that thrive in the online ecosystem. From having a uniform and thematic grid to using crisp presets to ensure harmony among all photos, Instagram has gone from an image-sharing site to a full-on lookbook-like portfolio. But a new trend is on the rise to break this mould — say hello the 'ugly' Instagram feed aesthetic.
How 'ugly' is ugly?
In today's standards, we already know that the word 'ugly' doesn't mean what it means anymore. This is because of countless resurging trends from past years as the 'hottest' and 'most celebrated' craze despite being frowned up when they first popped up. We're talking fanny packs, jelly shoes, leopard prints — you get the idea.
Moving over to Instagram, 'ugly' takes the form of a deliberately uncurated feed, filled with gritty and maybe even post-processed snaps that remove any hint of flawlessness in a photo. Whether it's filtered or unfiltered, the lack of consistency and the rawness of each IG square falls under this social media sub-genre. Feeds that insert a wacky selfie here and a meme screenshot there also fall into this category. It's not exactly horrendous, but it might qualify as 'disorganised' to those who like their feed to look and feel a certain way.
Photo feed of YouTuber and Instagram influencer Joana Ceddia a.k.a. @ewww_its_joana
This isn't to say that the 'ugly' feed trend requires little to no effort. In today's social media-conscious culture, choosing to post 'ugly' photos is something that requires a decisive choice. It can mean unlearning those new techniques you learned for Snapseed and Adobe Lightroom and simply hitting upload without overthinking. It's like living in the MySpace era all over again where posting photos on the internet was less complicated. And while it sounds all nice and simple, years and years of building a social media identity can be a tedious challenge to some.