Kim Kardashian shared a plea for help on Instagram last night, but don’t worry, Kanye and the kids are fine. The social media star is just concerned about the consistency of her Instagram feed, and whether she should be using the same filter on every photo. She asked her followers for advice, writing, “Please help. I really need to step my insta page up.”
Her followers leapt at the chance to give their idol advice, but seemed divided on whether it was important for her to be visually consistent on Instagram, or whether she should focus less on filters and more on authenticity. Others pointed out that there are more important things in life to worry about, quoting the time she cried about losing an earring in the ocean, and her sister Kourtney said, “Kim, there’s people that are dying.”
Whether or not Kim Kardashian should be taking Instagram so seriously, it makes sense that she does, because it’s a huge part of what makes her a celebrity—and that fame may be waning. Kardashian has 102 million followers, but she sounds fully aware that she’s not as highly ranked as she once was. From 2012 to 2015, she was the second most-followed celebrity on the social media site, after Justin Bieber. By the end of 2016, she had dropped to #5, behind Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Beyoncé. Kardashian has since been overtaken by Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, so she’s now the sixth most popular celebrity on Instagram.
While Kardashian maintains tight control of her online image, mostly posting photos in which she’s dressed up, made up, and edited to perfection, other celebrities have a more casual vibe to their feeds, which fans may find relatable. Kardashian, 36, rarely uses Instagram Stories to give her followers a live peek into her life, typically using the feature to share premade clips that promote one of her product lines. Meanwhile, rising Instagram stars like Emily Ratajkowski seem more comfortable revealing their real selves and their real lives on camera.
Ratajkowski has far fewer followers than Kardashian at only 14.3 million, but among fashion accounts, Ratajkowski has the highest engagement on Instagram Stories. The 26-year-old model shares clips of her scantily-clad self posing in exotic locations, lip-syncing to her music, or blowing her followers a kiss. Eva Chen, Instagram’s head of fashion partnerships, told Business of Fashion , “What Stories has really meant is that fashion is now able to be a little bit more authentic, a little bit more down to earth, funnier, scrappier.”
It’s hard to imagine Kim Kardashian feeling comfortable with anything “scrappy,” even if that realness is exactly what her fans crave. It seems likely that her popularity on Instagram may continue to drift downward unless she stops worrying about lighting and filters, lets her guard down, and lightens up in real life.