The Perfect Instagram Account

I’m on the pursuit of happiness


Instagram’s a tricky game. It can be used as a window into your normal life or an aspirational dream-world filtered through Valencia. The popular trend seems to lean toward the latter, but one too many macarons in pink lighting forced me to steer my account away from anything remotely twee. I’m all about a pretty picture. It’s just that I’ve also developed a complex where all group shots and camp counselor squats must be paired with a weird caption, non sequitur, or stupid joke.

I admit that the collection of photos I’ve posted thus far are absolutely my best foot forward. It’s not like I’m uploading empty takeout containers with accompanying text that reads, “None of my friends want to hang out,” because I, too, would like to appear fun and slightly tan to even the strangest of strangers. But my account is far from “curated” — a word that I’ve been hearing with extreme frequency in regards to one’s Instagram as opposed to, you know, a museum.

However…I have a secret. I wish I had one of those pretty, Pinterest-y Instagrams. No matter how many times I roll my eyes at friends who post saccharine photos of “spring!” (like thank you, I know, I also walked outside today, weather queen), there’s actually a dormant Martha Stewart deep within me, and she’s dying to take a photo of mason jars. And tea lights. Sometimes I have to actively restrain myself in flower markets so that I don’t hold up the line by documenting peonies. Just once I would like to take a picture of my cupcake without feeling embarrassed. Just once! And I’d like my captions to be earnest. Or quotable lines from a Bon Iver song.

But if people can live double lives, I recently reasoned, why can’t I live a double Instagram? I’d keep my original account for debaucheries, beer cans and curse words, and my new one for sunsets and other visual pleasantries.

So I did. Last night I made a perfect Instagram, and compiled all the idyllic photos I’ve secretly taken when no one was watching. In my perfect Instagram account (which you can view in the slideshow above) I made sure to include the following 10 clichéd, albeit highly necessary photos that I’ve noticed all other ‘grammers with similar accounts post. They are:

1) The Non-Repulsive Food Shot

This I found rather tricky as I am not a food photographer and often find myself eating boring sandwiches, as a rule.

2) The Sunset

Oh man did I have a backlog of good sunsets.

3) The Weather Announcement

One must take painstaking care, I’ve learned, to properly document seasons and note whether or not it is sunny outside. Otherwise, people may not know what to do.

4) The Scholar

If you haven’t Instagrammed a book, you haven’t lived.

5) The Pinterest Board

Posting things that others would want to “pin” shows you care about community inspiration. Not sharing pictures of linen tied up in twine is selfish.

6) The Animal Lover

It’s the Martha in me.

7) The Tropical Island Vacation

This lets everyone else stuck at work, at school, or in snow live vicariously through you. Include your legs and a beach-related pun for extra likes. (My personal stash lacked a good island pic, so I borrowed one from Hot-dog Legs.)

8) The Macaron

This shot proved to be the hardest. Do you know how expensive macarons are? I tried to buy some for the sole purpose of an Instagram and nearly threw my wallet at the cashier’s head. The good news is so many people post pictures of macarons that you can just steal one and no one will notice. I took mine from Pinterest. #thanks

9) Farmers Markets

Vegetables = “like” bait.

10) The Positive Attitude About Exercise

Finally, it’s not a proper Instagram without a little humble brag and a motivational message in pretty street-font.

Captioning each one of my pictures sans snark or irony took restraint. My hashtags are humorless, and I threw filters on nearly everything with abandon. Was my original intention to slightly poke fun at my friends who don’t seem to realize that their thousandth image of a smoothie is annoying? Yes. But I’m a changed woman now; the experience was freeing if not absolutely cathartic. Adding Earlybird to a photo of oysters, I’m sure of it, is the millennial zen garden.

Image via Street FSN

Side note: Do you ever think Instagram is turning all of us into sociopaths? On a lighter note, you can use Instagram as your guide for packing for a weekend getaway!

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  • Cyn

    I thought I was the only one who felt like this! Sometimes I really feel like an asshole when I either hold up a line at the market to snap a photo of daisies or raise my phone 2 feet above my perfectly situated pancakes to get a great shot lol. Most of my instagram posts are for the most part natural day to day stuff and little inspo, thank goodness, but I too wish I had a clean eclectic instagram page of the prettiest shoes, sunsets, and fruit parfaits!

    Cyn from

    • Amelia Diamond

      live the double life!

  • Kate Barnett

    wait, amelia. macaron vs. macaroon. i mean, i know what a macaroon is, and i know what those fancy cookies are. but i definitely ALSO called those fancy cookies macaroons. i am flabbergasted.

    • Amelia Diamond

      I know! I know! A macaron = perfect Instagram. A macaroon = the shitty cookies at my grandma’s house.

      • It wasn’t until Instagram that I learned the fancier version lacked the second “o.”


  • Sara

    Instagram is so fake! I am glad I ditched it.

  • Amelia, this piece is genius! Fuckin’ love you and the self-indulgent account you’ve made. So clever, and appeals to so many of the Instagram fetishes we all have given into. I give into the book and the weather ones especially.

  • Charlie

    I always love Leandra’s articles. Everyone does. But I also love the contributions of others. Amelia Diamond, you are one of them! 🙂

    • Amelia Diamond

      <3 Charlie <3

  • Dancingcheektocheek

    I’ll help you out, Amelia. Make macarons at home! The lemon isn’t necessary. Food coloring replacement?

    • Amelia Diamond

      I can’t do this!!!! Can you do this???

      • Kristen

        I tried 3 times with my sister who is like a master chef and we failed all 3 times. IT IS WAY HARDER THAN ANNA OLSEN MAKES IT LOOK OK

        • No no no, its simple pimple. Don’t over mix at any stage, use a table fan to skin them over (I do it for half an hour) and bake them till they’re well and dried out, don’t under-bake them.
          Et voila

  • Rose

    I believe that chalkboard is at Joseph Leonard and I love you for it.

  • Quinn Halman

    Ok but the name of the account is the best part of this whole genius operation

    • Amelia Diamond

      It’s my other rap name.

  • leonorjr

    you are a genius.

  • Charlotte Fassler

    I can’t wait to follow and see what kind of nail art you post <3 <3 <3!!!!!!

  • Ugh, your words are the most comically truthful things that I’ve ever read. Can you stop being the funniest human EVER?! Maybe I should lead a double-Instagram life too.

    • Amelia Diamond

      join me, it’s liberating!

  • Tess Osborne

    you just read my mind. it was only 3 short hours ago that I instagrammed a picture of succulents at the front door of a market…while four people had to wait to get in behind me. sorry I’m not sorry! double or nothin’

  • You totally forgot the perfectly coiffed black and white selfie. Duh! I mean, everyone has one?!

  • pamb

    I, too, think the word ‘curated’ only should apply to museums. You didn’t ‘curate’ the clothes in your boutique, you bought them. You aren’t ‘curating’ your photos, you’re choosing them. Take back the words, starting with ‘curate’ and move onto ‘iconic’, next!

    (Not everything/everyone is iconic. Things must stand the test of time, not survive in pop culture for a season or two).

    • To curate means to choose, organize and look after, so your argument of choosing clothes, photos, etc. is illogical.

      • pamb

        Up until a few years ago, ‘curate’ was only used in regards to museums or photo galleries. It’s become the fancy way of saying ‘specially chosen’, and is prevalent on shopping websites/in boutiques. It makes it easier to explain only having a few things in your store if you say you ‘curated a collection’ rather than ‘only bought a few pieces from the collection’.

        I don’t think it’s illogical at all.

  • I love your wit, so enjoyable to read!

  • emilyannestyle

    Good for you! I think we can easily get caught in the conundrum that just because we partake in intelligent discourse, we cannot enjoy the simple, girly (if a bit overplayed) sentiment of a pretty Instagram. It’s modern feminism! Let me like my pretty macarons and I’ll also teach you something!!!


  • Jocelyn

    Man, sometimes I wish I had the perfect “curated” instagram too but I just realize how silly of an aspiration that is…

  • lol the aerial view of coffee art shot also needs to be included 😉

  • Alaska

    Love the “throwbACK.” Classic new england.

  • Marta Pozzan

    If you haven’t Instagrammed a book, you haven’t lived. – this is my favorite

  • Erin

    This is so awesome

  • valyree

    Oh Mah Gah! So I’m not the only one who wonders how my fellow Instagramers take photos of food without feeling slightly uncomfortable!? I am laughing so hard while reading this because it is so sadly true. Nowadays, we judge people’s lives on the value of their selfie pics and editing skills. What’s even more sad? We all fall for it! Damn the Martha Stewart in all of us.

  • Nice tips! Thanks for sharing!

  • Kiri Yanchenko

    I often wonder what I am doing wrong on instagram. I mean my pictures are lovely and all so why are they not getting seen…

  • Heathbar

    If you are in the UK, Lidl have macarons in the freezer department for not very much money!

    • Amelia Diamond


      • Heathbar

        I should have added, you then take them out of the freezer and bake them!

  • I like her IG!

    Shoutout: @sacosha

    Sorry. Not sorry. I had to!


  • Dallas Wardrobe

    Totally agree. As someone who is guilty of only showing the good sides of life this is hilarious. xx


  • Calsey

    I love your use of emojis

    • Amelia Diamond

      It was an exercise in new-emoji exploration!

  • I can’t stop laughing at the “In progress…” one. It could use some hashtags though: #DIY #ireadallofthese #blessed #blankslate #organized #neatfreak

    I am an instagram junkie, but have yet to hashtag appropriately without 1. mocking everyone intentionally or 2. making the people I baby sit for who follow me cringe that I watch their children #sillyme

    • Amelia Diamond

      you get me

      • #bestinternetfriendsforever #manrepellergroupie #diditsnowinnyc?

  • therealdp

    unfollow!!! too much food.

  • jihanemo

    Wow. Thank you for that. This is why you’re a true Man Repeller! Those near perfect Instagram acc’ts of highly ‘curated’ photos are nice to look at most of the time, but also very nauseating. Thank you for putting this out there.

  • jihanemo

    And that Thomas Jefferson post is hilarious! Gosh – remember when everyone was Instagramming their Grace Coddington books? lol I admit, they made for great photos but it was such an annoying trend.

  • tiff

    haha i love this article, I’ve been thinking of starting a second instagram account as well and this just gave me the proper motivation to do so, soooo thank ya!

  • ah yes. the subtle, legless, west village regular.

    • Amelia Diamond

      this made me laugh out loud — are you talking about the man in the background?

  • This was absolutely perfect, thank you! I have a really hard time finding the right balance!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • Margaret Ely

    are we twin brained? probably.
    I have thought about keeping my current, making one that would geared more towards fashion and selfies just because I wanna (but not let anyone I know follow me), making one like your new current on (typical-let’s make everyone jealous and feel worse about themselves-one), and lastly the embarrassing and highly accurate one that would the one of the empty take out box because it’s funny to post something so pathetic on a social media app that is geared towards making our lives look so glam. And there you go… lemme know if you want an update if I actually make those or you know want to follow me.

    • Margaret Ely

      replying to myself (really cool). let me add I would be doing all of the above if I knew how to make more than one account.

  • Savannah


  • hahahah wait is the #throwback one from nantucket? is that why ACK is capitalized?

  • Megan //

    Hallelujah! Hot damn! Woohoo! Finally, someone else who feels the same way as me. I, too, follow many of those “My life is ridiculously perfect.” Instagram accounts and, in fact, recently launched a series on my blog called Insta Style, wherein I semi-make fun of them. So now, if I happen upon a gorgeous bouquet of flowers or a stunning sunset, I can’t put it on Instagram without downing a heavy dose of hypocrisy. #conflicted

  • Joselinne Mora

    #8 is hilarious!!

  • Ha, this is good. I don’t understand the ‘curated’ instagrams…what’s wrong with real life?? nothing. I like things that look like mistakes.

  • HILARIOUS. And ditto, ditto, ditto! I’ve been tempted to start an alternative Instagram account that is filled only with the heinously boring terrors of my new life in the country (as opposed to the sunny, snowy, outdoors in plaid and lipstick dream it can be now). Like here:

    • Amelia Diamond

      do it!!

  • Zoe

    Love the double instagram idea, my friends call it a “finstagram” (fake instagram). Silly usernames make them more fun, i.e.. @ scribblecilantro

  • Michi

    Help! Do you know where I can buy the Chanel iPhone case in your header?

    • Amelia Diamond

      gah no! looking into that…


    this is so spot on.

  • Tilly

    Amelia, what are your instagrams? I would love to follow both the empty-bear-cans and the abundance-of-sunsets IGs! xx

    • Amelia Diamond

      amilli0naire for empties and all things frat (the o is a zero!)

      ameezydeezylemonsqueezy for sunsets and flowers and love!! 🙂

  • Oana

    I’d totally follow this instagram account no matter how cliche it might be 😛 Well done Amelia!

  • well im currently the asshole that is forcing everyone to see my Wreck this journal pages and adds a lot of hashtags.

  • Sarah

    Right. I can see that this was published last year but I just want to say have that same mug (in picture 19) from Anthopologie! That mug is a winner. Congratulations on owning this mug. And winning. (Just kidding.) (I just wrote a perfectly useless comment.)

  • ThisPersonSleeps

    This just feels exhausting!

  • Abigail PrettySo

    That’s just one big LOL!

  • Kurt Moser

    As I monitored the best accounts are called account with bigger numbers of followers. If this is like that then it’s easy to achieve – use apps. There’re a lot of them. Even my sister uses app called zen-promo as I remember. But I don’t see the point of such hype of it