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WTF, Internet? Celebrity ‘Instassistants’ just tilted a level playing field

I have been known to frequent the Instagrams of some celebrities – your DMXs, your Anna Kendricks, your Lebron Jameses. And I often find myself wondering, “How do they get these hands-free selfies?”

There are various athletes doing their thing, no hands. Famous females always seem to be perfectly, casually captured and uploaded in all their filtered glory – both arms in the shot. Don’t even get me started on the magnificence that is Beyonce’s seemingly spur of the moment-filled Tumblr. How do they do it?!

Here’s how: A cocktail of absolute, self-adoring narciscissm … and “Instassistants.” Yes, taking Instagram shots for celebrities can be a full-time job.

Now I can’t say that any of these stars actually used an Instassistant, but it would definitely make sense. There’s no way these rich jerks are using their iPhone’s timer, getting it perfectly propped up on books across the room, and sprinting to the destination point – just to get that perfect Instagram! No way, no how.

Instead, they have a person to do that Insta’ dirty work for them. This person’s – I’m sorry, this … Instassistant’s – entire job consists of carrying around an iPhone and being ready at any and all times to capture the majesty that is their employer. Rihanna’s got one; not a job I relish. From the looks of that Instagram feed, you’re living in a constant haze of secondhand smoke and frequenting strip clubs often enough to give you a complex of some sort.

A handful of models are rumored to employ these Instassistants as well. Arguably they just aren’t used to being behind a camera, even when they’re still technically in the photograph.

The idea is that these people in the public eye want to feed their adoring fans a controlled, calculated, beautiful image of themselves. Case in point: Beyonce’s intense, stringent regulation of published photographers. (Please do not strike me down for speaking out against her holiness!) After her performance at the 2012 Super Bowl produced some … rather unflattering photos (that were actually totally awesome – did you see that muscle striation? Girl is strong­), her press people attempted to wipe them from the Internet. If you Google “Beyonce Super Bowl,” some of the first pictures that come up are the ones team Bey wanted erased forever.

beyonceFirst of all, requesting the Internet forget something? Have you heard of the Streisand effect? Tell us we can’t see something and it shall be burned into our brains. Sometimes, when I think about Beyonce, this pops into my head:

That’s on you, Bey. (Again, I’m so sorry, I worship you, please do not forsake me.)

Of course I still stalk her on Tumblr like a sicko – if I could be a celebrity couple, I would be Jay and Bey. But it doesn’t feel like I’m getting to know her anymore than I did before … it feels exactly like looking through a Vogue photo shoot.

Instagram is supposed to be the great democratic tool of photography. It put us all on a level playing field: Don’t have a $2,000 camera? Is Photoshop too daunting or expensive? Is your Wi-Fi so slow that uploading an entire album  would be a worse fate than death? Don’t worry: There’s Instagram. A simple, easy, accessible way to make, share, and see beautiful photos. There’s a difference between handing a stranger you phone to take a snap you’re in really quick; there’s another in uploading a constant feed of grandiose selfies.

Instagram is about humblebragging; we all show off using the app. Here’s a gorgeous cocktail I’m enjoying; the hotel I’m staying at in Hawaii; my adorable dog – all looking fierce thanks to some filter love, might I add. But we’re already jealous of celebrities! You make millions, you’re beautiful, and you have idyllic lives! Why must you rub it in my face even more with these manufactured Instagrams?!

So just stop it. We get it; you’re superhumans with great faces and perfect existences. Everything about your image is crafted to be just so – will it really kill you to have one little thing that isn’t? Can’t we just have a tiny piece of you that’s unfiltered (pun so intended)?

But if you can’t be convinced, I’d like to apply to be Chris Pratt‘s Instassistant. I think we’d get along really well, and I promise I’d never use Kelvin.

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