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.