Discovering Aesthetics

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Discovering Aesthetics

Jorden Harber

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First thing’s first lets clear one thing up. I am not a pretty person who spends my days drinking green juice and discovering cave paintings whilst on a hike in the Malibu Mountains. I am one of those people who likes to find the profiles of these pretty people and go about 52 weeks deep until I realize its two hours later and I am crying about my life. Of course I have these aspirations. And yes I’ve tried to theme my instagram multiple times (to no success). I have about an average of 90 likes per photo with about one or two posts per week.  Recently I’ve become obsessed with the word aesthetics. The dictionary app (Probably my most used app honestly (if that doesn’t tell a lot about me then what does??)) defines aesthetics as the study of the mind and emotions in relation to the sense of beauty. So I have decided to live the aesthetical instagram life for one week and see what happens. And I’m here to document it.


The day starts off great. I’m feeling super excited, kind of like the high you get when you decide you want to be YouTube famous. Except then you start filming the videos and realize you aren’t talented, nor do you have enough money for all those make-up tutorials. But I was feeling good. Luckily for me we had just gone grocery shopping yesterday and had gotten some berries. Like what’s more aesthetic than berries, am I right? So I threw some berries in a clear bowl and headed outside. Maybe for this picture I should have done my nails or something, but hey it’s my first day. What I immediately learned is behind every good picture is approximately 20 others that look almost exactly the same but not quite. I snapped this picture feeling good about the cute fall background, brightened it up a bit in my editing app, and posted it on the gram. This immediately brought to light another problem. Do aesthetic photos need clever captions? Besides not being extremely talented I’m also not a very witty person. After about 5 minutes of deliberation with my sister, we decided on monday morning vibes. ALL LOWERCASE, ALWAYS ALL LOWERCASE. It seemed cool enough coming from our bland selves. It took about five minutes to get my first like, which is pretty unusual for me. And then when I did get one, it was from my aunt. But hey family support is great. I’m sure my followers were shocked because I usually post unattractive and grainy pictures of my friends and me. But now there was this bowl of fruit. What is a bowl of fruit doing on instagram anyways? I ended up with about 70 likes. Maybe no one really liked my fruit bowl. Or maybe it’s because I posted it on a Monday morning. I only had one sarcastic comment from my friend about how berries can’t have vibes but it was immediately deleted because that ruins the whole aura of what I was trying to do. I hope she doesn’t get offended (Love you Magie.) After that whole ordeal my sister and I decided to make some cute thanksgiving crafts. I spent about an hour trying to take a good photo of the turnouts but I just did not like any of them! Living like this actually requires a good deal of talent! And my fifth grade photography class wasn’t quite cutting it. To top it off I decided to try again and make a visually pleasing snack of a piece of toast covered in seeds topped with some avocado and an egg with a runny yoke. I’m going to be honest here, I was so hungry when I finished making it that I didn’t actually even photograph it. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts right?


So I’m going to be honest. I got super cute today. I had gold accents and my favorite gold watch. It was very fall-like. I wanted to take a picture that involved me and maybe some leaves and a mug of some warm latte thing (Starbucks red cup anyone??). But then I made some nachos and I topped those nachos with three different types of salsas. Then those three different types of salsas ended up in my shirt. And I mean that was fixable with some fancy shadows and good angles, but then I accidentally fell asleep. Two hours later I woke up with nappy hair and smudged eyeliner. I kind of gave up after that.


Today was a big day for me. I went over to my boyfriend’s house to really hang out with his family for the first time. We made brownies together. They turned out completely shitty but at least it was adorable as hell. Those would’ve been some good pictures. Unfortunately I did not take any. I did not want them to look at me as picture obsessed (Yes, some of my friends have actually tried to talk to me about taking less pictures).  I tried to salvage the day by making a pumpkin pie and shooting a cute pic to pair with some Fetty Wap lyrics. I kid you not…I. TOOK. OVER. 100. PICTURES. Yeah they all sucked. Filters didn’t help. So another day wasted in the eyes of aesthetic living.


Today I took some super cute spontaneous looking (but definitely staged) pictures with my cousin and added a cute caption about failed yoga poses. It was cute. It was humorous. I was feeling good. But then I couldn’t help myself and posted a grainy Snapchat selfie with the “featured filter of the day.” I think it’s pointless to continue with this. I have learned that no matter how hard I might try, how many pictures I might take, I just can’t escape from my dark shadowed, harshly filtered, unpleasing to the eye photos. And you know what? I googled aesthetic pictures and I didn’t even think they were cute. I googled aesthetic pictures tumblr (because we all know adding the world tumblr to a google search makes it 100X better) and it only made it like 10X better. But then I realized the aesthetics is in the simplicity in which I live my ordinary life and have ordinary moments. And I take low quality pictures of these moments and I treasure them. So I think I’m 100% just trying to make myself feel better for failing at this, but I can’t say I didn’t try. Maybe you’ll have better luck than me.