How Avocados Became the Oprah of Instagram

Amelia Diamond | May 7, 2015

Avocados do not break the Internet. They sustain it.

Bagels are everything. In their subversive, rebellious way, they are the most “fashion” of all foods. They are Iris Apfel with edible accessories; Rihanna made of carbs.

And yet the avocado — quiet in demeanor, boring in design — surpasses the bagel’s Instagram fame by a whipped dairy landslide.

Leandra posed the question to me just the other day. “How,” she asked, “did the avocado get so famous?”

I see her point and sympathize with her incredulity. The avocado appears to be the most basic of fruit. It’s Lauren Conrad sans the hair — both are lovely, both have mass appeal. It’s Kim Kardashian without the Kanye. (Note that avocados contour naturally: what else do you think is happening when they ripen?)

But where Kim once aimed to break the Internet (which Beyoncé almost successfully broke), avocados sustain the Internet. Avocados are actually Oprah.

The Oprah Effect, as you’ve likely heard, is the documented phenomenon where everything she endorses turns to gold. Oprah’s approval can turn a mom and pop coffee shop into a valiant Starbucks competitor. I once watched a documentary where an artisanal soap company nearly had to shut down because they couldn’t keep up with the post-Oprah demand — then they sucked it up, got a factory, and became billionaires.

But Oprah only has this effect because she equals love. Oprah is a modern day saint with serious business savvy.

Avocados are of a similar force. Add an avocado to a salad and suddenly you’re nourishing your body as opposed to eating grass. Put a bit in your hair and the ends you’ve broken are suddenly repaired. Place an avocado on a slice of toast and you’ve just created art. They ameliorate situations by nature of them being them, but their rise to fame — like Oprah — can be directly attributed to good deeds and hard work.

Asking, “But why Instagram avocados?” is akin to asking, “Why male models?” Because they’re attractive, simple, and regardless of origin they seem like they’re from California. They are the chill that we all wish to be. They are edible therapy and a visual calm. They present wellness and happiness. They tell the world, “I ate an avocado today, so I am doing just fine.” We don’t post photos of avocado toast for popularity or notoriety or fame, really. We Instagram it because we want to be loved. Hugged. Nourished. Sustained.

I mean that, or we’re all total suckers.

You’ve heard of the Avocado Theory, right? If not, click here.


    ugh, i know. and then there are those super creepy people who attach love songs to them. GET A LYFE.

  • Allie Fasanella
  • alcessa
  • Samantha Kingston

    But really I can’t be the only one who is sick to death of avocado toast. I never have that for breakfast, but I’ve seen enough photos of avocado toast that I feel like I eat it all the time.

    Edit: my phone autocorrected ‘sick’ to ‘dick.’


    in the same line as avocados, poached eggs are TOTALLY having their moment too. it’s almost trashy to eat scrambled eggs now.

    • parkzark

      thinking about rubbery scrambled eggs makes my skin crawl.

  • Josie Fillat
  • A Forever Thing

    Here is one great smoothie made from Avocado… It tastes sweet as ice cream we promise !!!

  • Aydan

    If only I could sneak a photo of the beauty that is our avocado basket in our work kitchen!

  • Julia

    BUT WHAT ABOUT PEONIES AND MACAROONS?! YES I AM YELLING! Everybody is all like “Hey look at my AMAZING peonies these are so pretty….oh and my MACAROONS nom nom nom- I’m so sophisticated and french! #macaroonlove #peonies #SPRING #FRENCHGURRRRL

    • Mona Elissa

      The number of times I see peonies and macaroons on my Instagram feed could easily bet turned into a drinking game. Except people would die of liver failure.

      • Julia

        Okay I am going to sound 31 here. But where do you people find these fantastic memes? HOW do I make a meme? YES I love yelling in caps. I had a dream last night that I had 56 responses to my comment. 1 shall do 🙂

        • Mona Elissa

          I find all of the ones I use on Tumblr. I have a special fold named GIFs on my computer that I save any GIF that might be vaguely useful in conversation one day.

  • mariam

    But lauren conrad is not basic.

    • Amelia Diamond

      🙂 no she’s not, she’s actually a badass business woman!

      • On Second Avenue

        I LOVE her answer to a gross question about what her “favorite position” was: “C.E.O.”

  • Othelie

    I’ve got one rule when it comes to food, if it ain’t gonna taste good with an avocado on it – don’t bother eating it. Unless it’s chocolate. : )

    • Marianne Ronsse

      You can actually eat chocolate stuffed with avocado cream 🙂 it exists, and though it may seem weird, it’s actually not that bad 🙂
      (unless you’re brazilian (like one of the commenters above) and you are used to eat avocado in a sweet way, not in a savory as most people are)

      • Othelie

        Wow, I need to find it and try! And also try the brazilian way of avocado, that sounds amazing. Porobably won’t show up in Norway for another seven years. I think maybe I apply the same rule for chocolate as well (just don’t like to admit that as much) However; a little chunk of dark chocolate in a chili casserole makes it taste like magic.

  • Joanna

    This is one of the reasons I love reading MR – you guys are able to write in an interesting way even about vegetables. I’m impressed.

    When it comes to avocado, I remember when my mum bought it for the first time when I was a kid. It was a novelty back then (I come from a post-Soviet Union country, so before 90s ‘fancy’ foods were simply unavailable). I remember that everyone in my family said it was disgusting and they had no idea how to eat it. Someone added sugar, someone sprinkled it with salt and it still lacked taste. I had an aversion to it for a long time, and only convinced myself to eat it when I first tasted guacamole.

    Even though I like it now, I still find it funny how famous it got.

    • On Second Avenue

      Witam z Nowego Jorku!

      On a similar note, my Polish mother’s standard for food has always been very low. (Combination of growing up poor and Catholic – can’t throw out anything!) I’ve never heard her complain about a meal, and she’ll gladly eat something bland whereas I’m grossed out

    • Amelia Diamond

      thank you and that is so crazy to think about. my mom has a really clear memory of the first time people were introduced to mexican food in her neighborhood, which just seems so bizarre!

  • Mariana

    I’m fascinated yet scared by this avocado crazy that has been going on for a while in the US. Here in Brazil, Avocado is used mostly for smoothies (just milk, avocado and sugar. No kale and no coconut water), sometimes guac and I remember my grandpa eating it with just sugar sprinkled on it

    I like how fulfilling an avocado smoothie is, but I don’t see myself spreading it on toaster anytime soon

    And brazilian avocado is different, it’s bigger and rots in about 5 minutes after it has finally ripened

    • Amelia Diamond

      I cannotttt imagine eating one with sugar but now I’m like…HMMM

      • Molly

        The phenomenon is so freakin real.

        • Amelia Diamond

          hahaha this is NOT real!!

      • Lolla Moon

        Half an avocado + full fat milk to taste + sugar to taste. Add milk as you go; if you prefer a creamier texture just don’t add too much. Being brazilian myself, and avocado being a fruit, I think it works great with sweet recipes. It took a while for me to get my head around eating avocado in salads, but I still prefer it in a smoothie.

  • Malena

    Hahaha the title of this post cracked me up!!

    X Malena

  • erin elisabeth

    why *are* they so famous though?? they’re kind of bland…..

    but one of my favorite snacks is raw avocado slices with a nice fat line of sriracha down the middle. blandness, get at me.

  • Romina C

    Ahaha hilarious article and Oprah-Avocado theory.

    Romina |

  • Molly

    Coming soon?! The phenomenon is so real. 🙂

  • vzukelman

    I read an article where a girl knew she had “made it” career-wise when she could buy as many avocados as she wanted to. Those suckers can run expensive. And they are delish.

  • Regina Hoyos

    i think its kinda funny since i come from a place where the love for avocado has always been the norm yet ive never met anyone in mexico who´s first instinct is to put it on toast. Please do try it on a tortilla.

  • GabsyT

    In the house I grew up, we always had an abundance of avocados and mangoes since we had trees for both that were over 30 years old. But never in my life have I seen avocados in such a savoury light. Most of the time, we have avocado with milk and a hint of sugar, or we have it for breakfast. I could never imagine smearing it on toast… I guess the American equivalent of that thought to us would be smearing an orange on rice or smearing a pear on rice.

    • Amelia Diamond

      I find this fascinating! (Though it’s making me want banana with Thai sticky rice RIGHT NOW)

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  • Alex & Danny

    This is hilarious.
    The Twins

  • Lu Valdés

    i live in a country where avocado is almost a religion. is really cheap (in comparation to other countries) and it is eveywhere. BUT im allergic to this beautiful gift of earth :'( I ‘m not worthy </3
    love you Amelia <3 first comment ever. sorry for my bad english, I'm chilean.

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  • Gabrielle Patenaude

    What’s the documentary called? I’m so intrigued by the Oprah Effect!

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  • Kate Miller

    There is nothing like Avocado. I love it so much! They say if you eat half of it every day it gives you energy and nutrition for the whole day.

  • Debra
  • Connie
  • Alyson Goodman

    My ex’s mother used to say,”Avocado is nature’s butter.” She probably still says it, but I wouldn’t know.
    Put it in anything and it is INSTANTLY better.
    You cannot, however, say the same about Oprah. Take David Letterman, for example.