As of this morning, I have somewhere around 740 Instagram followers. Half of those are friends, while the other half are presumably people who enjoy seeing a lot of heavily filtered cat and makeup pics. It’s always kind of flattering when people think your photos are cool enough to want to see them on a semi-regular basis, but can you imagine having well over a million people feel that way about you? And, in particular, your butt?
Enter: Jen Selter. 20-year-old Selter is an Instagram star with 1.3 million followers, some of whom find her inspirational while others find her unbelievably hot. I would argue she is both (seriously, she is holding herself up like crazy), though apparently it is primarily her “enviable rear” that has allowed her to acquire so many followers. NY Post published a piece on Selter last night and, I won’t lie, it is kind of hilarious and weird in its own way. An excerpt of the beginning:
It was a 30-degree December day, but to the 25 bystanders shoving their iPhones 3 inches away from Jen Selter’s butt, it was hot hot hot.
Selter, a 20-year-old Instagram star, famed for her large derriere, was demonstrating her squatting technique for the New York Post atop a subway rail in Midtown, clad in nothing more than a sports bra and hotpink yoga pants.
“Is that real?” one guy panted. Another asked for her hand in marriage. Three Hasidic Jews looked on in awe. The police came. And then stood there and enjoyed the show.
Selter didn’t even flinch.
No, friends, this is not the intro scene to Michael Bay‘s foray into the porn industry. It’s apparently what happens to Selter “wherever [she is]” by followers, which really only weirds me out because I don’t think I follow any non-celebrity/non-celebrity cat on Instagram whom I look at enough that I would instantly recognize him or her. To be fair, Selter is really, really good looking, so perhaps some people are recognizing her and some people just find her really, really good looking.
“I don’t really post a lot of face pictures,” Selter says, which most of us would probably be able to relate to. Sure, we all post a few selfies of our faces here and there, but most pictures are of other oh-so-Instagrammable stuff–snow, brunch, smiling pit bulls, temperature gauges that are way too high or low to handle. The difference between the rest of humanity and Selter is that Selter actually just posts “belfies,” which is an awful combo word meaning “butt selfies.”
“Not that I care what people think, but they don’t care. They don’t want to see my face.”
So, how did she get started in the Instabutt industry?
Selter started working out — and her butt began ballooning.
So she did what any millennial would do: She took some belfies (that’s butt selfies, for all the ancients out there).
“It’s cool seeing your body transform. That’s what motivates me,” says Selter, who stresses that “fitness isn’t just about looks. It’s about how you feel.”
(Dear Non-Millennials — For the record, we do not all take photos of our asses, not that it’s a bad thing. I’m just letting you know because of the huge number of accurate selfie-related millennial stereotypes, this one is kind of wrong.)
Her typical uniform involves yoga pants (she apparently owns over 150 pairs, with is at least 149 more than I do) and a crop top or sports bra, so she plans on capitalizing on this by creating her own line. Her Instagram encourages its followers to exercise and get fit, thus the wild following, so “deals with NYC water company NY20 and nutrition supplement company Game Plan Nutrition,” which she’s now the spokeswoman for, have earned her a whole lot of money.
And her mother is very excited, which is adorable:
“I’m very proud of her because this is a girl who didn’t want to go to college, and she was able to build up this social media in such a way that she has become famous and she is an inspiration and motivation for so many people,” says Selter’s mother, Jill Weinstein, who only asks that her daughter doesn’t end up in Playboy.
So, that answers the inevitable “I BET HER PARENTS ARE SO PROUD OF HER” comments that show up on every story ever about a female making money off her appearance.
People have been occasionally cruel, labeling Selter a “butterface” and accusing her of getting plastic surgery. But Selter, though she was profiled in an April 2010 People Magazine article regarding her decision to have a nose job as a teenager, says her “body’s all real . . . from boobs down.”
So, that’s that. Let me lay this out to you:
- Work out.
- Take butt selifes.
My fellow writers and I just went through mini existential crises wishing we had all made amazing Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr accounts, because that’s apparently working out for tons of people. Or that we could go back in time and write every young adult series that ever became popular. Reasonable dreams and whatnot.