How come Ashley Graham’s Instagram handle isn’t Ashley InstaGraham, is my first question.
Who took this photo for her is my second.
The answer is not important because it’s most likely “a patient friend or steady timer,” but this kind of photo — where the subject stands alone and full-on, unabashedly poses — is part of a social media trend that came to head just recently. Squad pics are so last year. This is the summer of the plandid.
A plandid is a planned candid. An oxymoronic portmanteau brought to my attention by my friend Trent (turns out it’s been on Urban Dictionary since 2010), the term has come to mean, more than anything, a carefully calculated solo shot that appears to have been taken by a professional photographer, posted without a hint of shame or irony, and for no apparent reason other than, Why not?
Celebrities have been doing the plandid for as long as they’ve been allowed to run their own social media accounts. I assume their personal assistants take the shots or something. Instagram bloggers have been doing the plandid forever, except their photographers likely are professional, or their husbands. Civilians have just recently gotten in on the super-selfie act, and this summer, they took the tripod, found the right angles and just fucking ran with it.
Check your IG feed now: All of your friends are posting these.
What the proliferation of the plebeian plandid tells us is that narcissism is no longer the human race’s dirty secret. We have finally admitted that we all like attention. We have finally accepted that it feels good to have others validate our taste. (Please tag and tap for credits.) After following celebrities and bloggers for so long that they feel like our friends, we have finally realized we are just as worthy, just as “allowed” as they are to do whatever we want on social media. And sometimes we want to post pictures of our outfits while looking down and slightly to the left!!! What a relief it is to say out loud that yes, it would be nice to date a photographer just so that someone talented was on call at all times to catch us in our best light without having to ask, who doesn’t hoard his or her pictures but instead uploads them to our mutual share folder in a timely, organized and preferably filtered manner.
If you’re just beginning the journey, welcome. I posted one at the end of last summer and let me tell you, it is liberating.
This awakening hasn’t just made us tolerant of one another’s self-indulgent posts, it has made us enthusiastic double tappers who welcome even the most self-absorbed of plandids. No longer do we judge a selfie (or a self-timer-ie) that comes equipped with an earnest caption as opposed to something self-deprecating and humorous. No longer do we text screen shots to our friends and ask, “Can you believe she posted that?” Who has the time? We are all staging our own head shots! And as a result we’ve become a more positive community.
Doesn’t that sound nice? Doesn’t that sound freeing? Screw that plate of avocado toast; your Instagram is about you.
But wait! Don’t know how to identify a plandid? It doesn’t really matter. There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s. Still, let’s walk through the different types.
The Kind Where You Sit Somewhere That You’d Never Actually Sit But It Looks Good in a Photo
The Kind Where You Need to Document Feeling Hot, and Ask a Very Short Friend or Baby to Take Your Picture
The Kind The Internet Calls “the Bambi,” Where You Sit On Your Knees Even Though That Hasn’t Been Comfortable Since Third Grade
The Kind With a Millennial Pink Wall
The Kind With a Motivational Quote/Graffiti/Both
The Kind Where You Ask Your Photographer to Shoot You in Burst Mode So That You Can Select an In-between Shot
The Kind Where You Just Really Love What You’re Wearing and Need to Document It
The Kind Where You Convince a Friend to Finally Let You Live Out Your Own Fast Times at Ridgemont High Slow Pool-Exit Scene
The Kind Where You Hint You Have a Significant Other Without Showing Your Significant Other Because a Plandid is ALWAYS Solo
This one’s all you.
Share your plandid in the comments below. Could be grounds for a great caption brainstorm.