Leigh Ann Eisenhauer (C’18)

With her 1,550 followers and a self–declared “Public Figure” designation, one might assume that Leigh Ann takes her Instagram profile seriously. But Leigh Ann thinks otherwise.

“I have friends who take it super seriously, and that’s annoying,” she said. “They won’t post a picture if it doesn’t fit in their feed, even if they like the picture.”

She attributes her Instagram following to the variety of high schools she attended, which led to her being followed by people she doesn’t really know. “I went to a boarding school and a public high school, and I’m from a really small town, so there’s a bunch of neighboring schools,” she said. “People that I don’t know from neighboring schools will follow me, or people that are way younger at my high school will follow me, plus all these people I went to boarding school with, plus I went to summer camp.”

“I’m just acquaintances with a lot of people,” she added.

In terms of her Instagram aesthetic, Leigh Ann prefers to go au natural, enjoying #NoFilter photos of scenery from hikes. 

“I like taking nature pics,” she said.

Michael Xufu Huang (C’17)

Michael, cofounder of the M WOODS museum in Beijing, considers Instagram important to his personal brand. And with 25.2k followers, it’s not a shock that he's serious about his profile. 

Michael first joined the platform in high school. He started getting significant followers as a result of his friendship with a woman he describes as China's "It GIrl". Since he founded of M WOODS—the “MoMA of China”—Michael has been more adamant about cultivating his profile. In China, he explained, museum–going is not as popular an activity as it is in the US. That being said, his museum has rapidly grown in popularity since its founding.

“Now it’s like every post needs to be curated,” he said. “Our museum only started two years ago, and now it’s one of the most popular museums in China."

Michael doesn’t exclusively use the platform to showcase art; he shares bits and pieces of his daily life on his profile as well.

“For the content, I try to keep it balanced, like half art, half me and my life,” he explained. “When I post me, it gets more likes.”

Grace Xu (W’19)

Grace didn’t start using Instagram until the second semester of her senior year of high school, when she got her first phone—but that doesn’t mean she’s any less of a pro. She initially used the platform to show off her keen sense of style, drawing inspiration from Instagram accounts she had seen before getting her phone. Her Instagram now boasts 2,498 followers.

"...I would say it’s like most people’s Instagrams," she said. "It’s the highlights of my life, but not necessarily the most accurate depiction of my life.”

As for who takes those stylish photos of her posing around campus, Grace says her friends have learned to expect it.

“If I’m hanging out with someone and they know me fairly well, they’ll be pretty prepared to do it,” she said, laughing.

She chooses photos for her feed based on whether or not she likes them aesthetically, using the VSCO app to plan out the layout of her profile. Along with VSCO, Grace uses several apps to edit her photos, including Snapseed and Aviary.

Despite her well–planned, aesthetically–pleasing Instagram feed, Grace wants people to know that it doesn’t necessarily represent reality.

“I definitely don’t want people to think that that’s what my life is actually like,” she said. “I’m not nearly that stylish or having that much fun.” 

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons


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