ICYMI, Jennifer Aniston joined Instagram last week and all but shut down the internet. Her first post featured all six main "Friends" cast members, and despite a brief error where the public couldn't follow her, is off to a roaring start. Her social media career has been long-awaited, as fans and friends alike of the 50-year-old actress have flocked in droves to her profile.
Since joining, Aniston has shared what looks like a clip from her upcoming Apple TV series, "The Morning Show," apologizing for somehow glitching Instagram's ability to let people follow her; a throwback Thursday where she recreated a baby photo of herself; and a side-by-side of the "before" and "after" from her recent photoshoot for Variety's Power of Women issue.
The first photo finds Jen getting her hair touched up and socks scrunched just so while she sports a less-than-enthused face, while the accompanying photo captures a computer screen (and more specifically, an editing software), where the final version of the picture is being altered (read: "perfected").
"I'm just a girl...standing with hair and makeup. A stylist. A photographer. A lighting crew, wind machine, props, and a computer...asking you to think I woke up like this. 😬😑," Aniston wrote to accompany the photo.
In other words, she is, in her first week of social media-ing, addressing the frivolity of social media-ing. And it's truly a treat.
Aniston is calling herself out, essentially taking hold of whatever narrative would have attached itself to any glam shots she'd post on her Instagram account. Here, she draws direct attention to the fact that, sure, she takes a great photo -- but it's not without a full team, effects and rounds of retouching.
It's a candid look at how stars are able to look as great as they do on social media, but also at how Instagram isn't real. Of course, there have been plenty a discussion about how what gets thrown up on the internet should always, always, always be taken with a grain of salt; nothing, we know, is ever quite as it seems, especially in the "influencer" age. Take the fake Coachella girl, for instance: Back in April, YouTuber Gabbie Hanna tricked all of her followers into thinking she was attending the giant music festival just by carefully editing the photos she posted as part of a social experiment. And, you know, to prove a point.