NEW MUSE: Emilia.
As we are now well and truly into the seventh year of Instagram's existence and recently unfollowed almost 1600 people, we're seeking out new sources of inspiration from unique people who use the platform in a personal way - New Muses if you will. Girls who don't have a formula for success, but who inspire us daily with their life in pictures.
Emilia is one of those people, so we caught up and had a conversation... take a few minutes and share your thoughts too. xxx
Liz Sunshine: On Instagram:
Emilia Skuza: I definitely have a love/hate relationship with Instagram. I love the magnitude of inspiration that exists and how easy it is to connect with people in different parts of the world, but I definitely get drained by the creepy need to constantly be sharing and consuming an unrealistic representation of life. I’ve had moments where I’ve toyed with the idea of deleting my account, but then I’ve been reminded of all the people on Instagram who inspire me and make me laugh. That's when I feel like I’m part of something positive, which is a nice reminder of what it once was and what it should be like.
LS: Tell me when you got started...
ES: I started when it was still cool to use the built-in filters - I would always add the fake film border. I thought it was great at the time...
LS: How do you choose something to post...
ES: There’s no real process, I just share things that I think might make someone laugh, or an idea or image that I find interesting, or a piece of clothing that excites me. I don’t want to be clogging up people’s feeds and sharing highly unachievable images that won’t make people feel good about themselves. Even though I like to maintain a certain aesthetic with what I post, I also like to remind people - and myself - that the platform is a much more enjoyable place if you don’t take it too seriously.
LS: What you think of influencers and how Instagram has changed the world around you… if it has
ES: The way I see it, there are two types of ‘influencers’: the first category consists of people who attract attention because they are either experts in their given field or they bring something new to the table. People like Pandora Sykes and social commentary, or Zoe Foster Blake and the beauty industry come to mind. These people only share or collaborate on projects that make sense to them and that will genuinely interest their audience. They also facilitate conversations and build a community of like-minded people who take interest on those topics. The information that is shared by these types of influencers has also contributed to the changes occurring to how we are as consumers; we’re more informed and we question more, which means that companies have to work harder to please us. These types of influencers are helping to shift the balance of power in that regard, and I think that’s great.
The other category consists of people who maybe started off with that intention but kind of got lost somewhere along the way - they got distracted by offers of free stuff, and forgot to find their space in the matrix of Instagram. The result is a massive amount of Influencers who operate in effectively the same space using the same variables, and who commodify themselves at the expense of a long term perspective. The end goal just feels like selling, and for me it’s just not engaging, nor does it foster anything positive.
LS: What infuriates you?
ES: Infuriate is quite a strong word, so I don’t know if that applies, but I think what bugs me most is the rat race that is caused by Instagram, it’s influencers, and the brands that have realised the potential positive affects it has on sales, and which results in this ever-increasing materialism paired with a constant dissatisfaction with current possessions. Instagram has the potential to be just another advertising platform for business; a billboard in your pocket that tells you that you’re not good enough, if you allow it to be. I have to remind myself every once in a while to only follow accounts that I benefit from, and I turn down most of the free stuff I get offered, because I just don’t want to play that game. I find it much more interesting to work from a wardrobe in which I have no option but to re-use and re-style pieces that I love over and over, anyway. But yeah, what frustrates me most is how Instagram fuels fast fashion and the disposable mentality of clothing, which is severely affecting our planet in a multitude of ways, and in the end solely benefits companies because it’s definitely not making us happier as consumers. I’ve been trying to figure out how I can share clothes that I love on my account without propagating this materialism, and I think it comes down to buying quality over quantity, being conscious of the origin of your clothing, and buying with a long-term perspective. It’s a process - I’m constantly learning and trying to be better.
LS: What do you wish you could change?
ES: I don’t know how to actually change it, but I wish that there could be limits imposed on the use of apps like ‘FaceTune’, or that there was more honest information out there about them. Those apps are quite frightening when you consider what effects they ultimately have on really young kids who aren’t aware of which celebrities or influencers they follow are using them, and to what degree. But I guess that’s me being hypocritical, because when I work as a model, my face and body gets retouched in post, and apps like FaceTune are just a natural progression from Photoshop. It’s normal to want to display the best version of yourself, but we have to accept responsibility for what impact this has on standards of beauty.
LS: Three accounts you follow that you find inspiring…
- Zoe Foster Blake (@zotheysay) - for her undeniable wit, her refreshing honesty, and the information she shares on the beauty industry
- Leandra Medine (@leandramcohen) - I love Man Repeller’s instagram too, but Leandra’s personal account is so unfiltered and hilarious. The content she posts on her husband is too much.
- @considered.living - two girls from Adelaide who are schooling us all on how to be responsible consumers.
Produced in partnership with MONPURSE.