Being good at Instagram requires a very particular set of skills: an eye for a photo, a particularly symmetrical bone-structure, and a Fairy Godmother bank account to whisk you away to fancy-ass locale.
Having a few original ideas helps too, but, as Aussie travel blogger Lauren Bullen and boyfriend Jack Morris found out, not everyone can be arsed with that bit. Bullen stumbled across another user – @diana_alex, who has since moved to private – who’d been Talented Mr. Ripley-ing her over the app, recreating twenty of her pictures with her own boyfriend. But not just taking inspiration, fully recreating that shit: down to the hotel, the room, the bandanas.
In one picture, the couple’s lovely continental breakfast – replete with Lauren necking a cherry or some shit as her beau, Jack, looks on wearing a bandana - was ripped to a quite incredibly deatailed degree. The shorts, the shirts, the cherry, the bandana, the bemused looks, and – incredibly – a boat’s white-water trail in the background.
We’re no bookies, but the odds of these being coincidences are pretty damn steep.
As tackled in a post called "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" on her blog, Bullen opened: "Having a large instagram following does come with some interesting experiences, but this has been by far the most odd one yet." Yeah, no shit, mate.
Since the story went #viral, there's been an update from our intrepid Antipodean guide -
“I have been back in contact with Diana over the past 4 days once she unblocked me, and we have addressed this entire situation together. I have heard her reasons for all this, the apology has, of course, been accepted. She is of no threat to me or anyone else and she has agreed that is was over the line.
She just got inspired and liked the style of my work... We are all human beings- we all make mistakes and it's time the world moves on from this story, so we can all get on with our lives, learn a few lessons.
There has been so many speculations that I created this all myself for a media stunt, this was not something that I intended to gain anything from and I have refused to give out any more information to media on this situation, I shared an experience I believed was worthy to share with my followers and this has been the outcome. Believe what you want to believe, I am done with all this.”
TL;DR - "Spoke to her and now it's fine. Bit weird, though. Please ignore the thing I made a big deal of."
Anyway, no matter the explanation, the examples are an acutely accurate exhibition of social media skin-wearing - and it might be the most high-profile but it won't be the last. Who knows where this will all end…