Do People’s Hands Look Weird on Instagram, or Is It Just Me?
On the unsettling rise of ‘Instahands’
Like most of the internet population, I don’t have many followers on Instagram. Instead, I’m a relentless scroller. A keen observer, if you want to get pretentious. A total peeper, if you want to get real.
It used to be that nosy people like me had to sit in a cafe or on a bench to people-watch. Now, thanks to technology, it’s possible anywhere — from any couch, office, or bed. Here I am, half-asleep on an armchair, my curtains shut, yet somehow I’m watching all of you.
And so it was that I began to notice people on Instagram hold things funny. Not everyone, obviously, but enough people that I was like, wait… what?
Maybe you already know where I’m going with this — but if not, here’s what I mean: When Instagrammers hold something in a photo, they spread out their fingers in a weird way. Sometimes they do a flat fan, and other times they clench with a rounded, claw-like grip. It depends upon the thing they’re holding: for example, here’s a musician brandishing an oversize wine glass by an open fire. Here’s a no-waste advocate positioning a croissant as if it were a piece of corn on the cob. It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine one of these perfectly-posed hands standing on the beach, clad in a bikini, cleverly using angles and light so as to give the illusion of a thigh gap. Except, you know… I mean, good god, people. These are fingers!
Once I saw this specific style of hand posing, I couldn’t unsee it. I started noticing it all over Instagram. Not just in big-time influencers' accounts, but also in the photos and Stories of people I knew in real life. Kylie Jenner does it. Caroline Calloway does it. For crying out loud, even I started doing it!