The rise of the internet age has spawned a lot of new professions that our grandparents would have never imagined. Website developer. Social media coordinator. Writer for a website aimed at people who should probably be working instead of reading random thoughts on the things girls do after graduation or people that had a worse weekend than you. But the weirdest profession that’s arisen from the world wide web? Instagram models.
In my mind, there are two types of Insta models: the Fitspo models, such as Kayla Itsines and Jen Selter, and the straight up online models, like Lindsey Pelas and Abigail Ratchford. In both cases, you can pretty much expect the same thing from their accounts: half (or more) naked pictures, inspirational quotes, and of course, sponsored posts, because a girl’s got to eat (and pay for her boob implants.)
And that’s what most of these Instagram models are: girls. Which got me to thinking – is there a male equivalent of the Instagram model? Are there dudes out there making their living via posts about fit tea and some incredible workout plan? From what I can tell…not exactly. But there are plenty of guys working it for the cameras. As such, here is my totally unscientific investigation into what is the male equivalent of the Instagram model.
Example: Nick Bateman
Interestingly, where gorgeous ladies who make their living on Instagram are happy to take up the title of “Instagram model,” it would seem that the hot dudes with giant followings refuse to do so. Instead, they are always model/something. In the case of Bateman, he is a model/actor, even though his IMDB profile is woefully short. Interestingly, the accounts of these gentlemen tend to be lacking two of the three hallmarks of a traditional Instagram model account: sponsored posts and inspirational quotes. But luckily for their ladies, they are quite heavy on the near-nakedness.
Instagram model equivalency ranking: 4 of 10
The Reality TV Star
Example: Scott Disick
How do you stay in the spotlight/make some cash if you’re a reality TV star whose show is on hiatus or, even worse, cancelled? Post pictures of your semi-fabulous life on Instagram and try and make some bank while you’re at it.
Of course, Disick is actually the prime example of failing miserably at this. If you remember, about this time last year, Disick copied and pasted the instructions he had been given for a sponsored Bootea post, accidentally including them in the caption: “Here you go, at 4pm est, write the below. Caption: Keeping up with the summer workout routine with my morning @booteauk.”
You may think your average Insta model isn’t exactly a brainiac, but she’s probably smarter than the Lord.
Instagram model equivalency ranking: 5 of 10
The interesting thing about this Instagram is that you typically can’t tell what’s a sponsored post and what’s just showing off. In the case of Future, I thought the guy was sponsored by Gucci for the amount of clothes he wears with their logo; but his last tour was actually sponsored by Reebok and you have to dig for a while before you figure out that he has his own line with the sneaker company. Subtle advertising is the name of the game for the rapper.
There are, of course, the positive quotations, both in the regular sense (“Keep winning keep rewriting history. Pushing the envelope.”) and some of their safe-for-Insta lyrics, but the rappers aren’t dropping enough shirtless selfies to get me invested.
Instagram model equivalency ranking: 7 of 10
Example: Tom Brady
Many of today’s athletes have begun to follow in the footsteps of Instagram models in terms of sponsored posts, although they are usually for brands a bit more high class than aforementioned fit tea, as you can see above. My beloved TB12 is hawking Aston Martins, Under Armour and his new meal delivery service; Michael Phelps is pushing Blue Apron harder than he swam the 200-meter individual medley in Rio.
These sponsored posts, along with the occasional inspirational quote (Tom’s sage advice? “Find your blueprint and follow it.”) and the shirtless workout photo, make the athlete a close equivalent of the Instagram model. Close, but not quite.
Instagram model equivalency ranking: 9 of 10
Example: Adam Gallagher
Ding, ding, ding – we have a winner! Along with all of the hallmarks of a standard Instagram model, these guys also have one other fact that makes them the closest male equivalent: no discernible career. Sure, they call themselves “bloggers” or “explorers,” but let’s be real – no one makes a living doing that. Instead, these dudes seem to spend all of their time taking pictures of themselves casually leaning against objects in various locations, while dropping such knowledge as “Don’t follow the path. Blaze the trail” with a bottle of whatever they are pushing casually placed in the background.
Winner winner, chicken dinner. The prize is that I will follow your account with outward scorn, but internal jealousy that you make enough from pictures of yourself that you don’t have to go to an office every day.
Instagram model equivalency ranking: 10 of 10.