My Instagram feed has never felt less important to me than in the cursed year of 2020. In what has a been a slow and subtle user evolution, when I open up Instagram, I don’t scroll down, I tap and swipe. I pop into Stories and pop back out of them at my leisure. Sometimes I click on a tag that will take me to someone’s profile, or I’ll check out an Instagram post linked in a Story, but the traditional feed has disappeared from my mind.
However, not all Instagram Stories are created equal. Some people suck at it, while others have nailed the medium so hard they’ve transcended it entirely. I can’t promise you’ll have the same taste in content as me (or the rest of the BYT team), but I can promise the Instagram accounts listed below are at least worth a look. You might just meet your new social media obsession.
Hi, it’s us: @brightestyoungthings.
We feature ALL the worthwhile arts, culture, food, drink, music, film, comedy, true crime, style, LGBTQ+ and more picks for DC, NYC, and beyond on social and our site. You know this, because you’re here. If you ever meet one of us in person, you know we’ll emphatically recommend something up your alley in real life (it’s a compulsion, we know). Back on Instagram, tag #BYThings in your posts and us in your stories. We love nothing more than seeing what matters to you — and sharing the hell out of it.
Ah yes, the account that really sucked me into Instagram Stories. I’ve been following Eva Chen around the Internet since I discovered her blog way back in the salad days of Tumblr. Always positive leaning and filled with interesting behind the scenes information about the fashion world (Chen was editor-in-chief at Lucky and the beauty and health director at Teen Vogue before becoming the director of fashion partnerships at Instagram itself), Chen’s social media presence is like drinking a cool glass of water. She’s fun, interesting and adds a little slice of joy to my day. -Kaylee Dugan
I mean, if we’re being perfectly honest, I follow about a bazillion pro women’s soccer players around the world. (EVERYONE SHOULD, BECAUSE PRO WOMEN’S SOCCER PLAYERS ARE RAD.) But Ashlyn solidified her stories as unmissible this past summer, after the epic and well-deserved (AND MUCH-NEEDED) USWNT Women’s World Cup win; seriously a total legend, and her voice repeatedly going “BIIIIIITCH” will happily remain etched in my brain for all of eternity. Also, now that she’s married to co-star Ali Krieger, she is cemented as true queer royalty. HERE FOR IT. -Megan Burns
Let this blurb be my official apology to all my friends who I regularly DM model Jordan Barrett’s stories to. His IG stories are always so weird, confusing, and usually completely without context and I love them. I have a few narratives going with his his stories – among my favorites is “Who is driving?” as he is always in the front seat of cars that get somewhere but who is behind the wheel is always a mystery. Another favorite is “Jordan as an art critic” in which I pretend I think he is an eloquent art critic. Again, to my friends.. I am sorry. -Marissa Rubenstein
No one has fallen harder or faster in love with the BA Test Kitchen than I have! Actually, that’s definitely not true // the BA Test Kitchen staff is so next-level loveable that I think just about everyone on the planet is and/or should be obsessed. And OBVIOUSLY that makes their IG stories fall into what I would consider to be unmissable updates; while I’d highly recommend following individual accounts (how do you even pick favorites but fine mine are Molly, Brad, Gabi and Claire), but for a neat ‘n tidy package just dip your toes into ye olde main channel of @bonappetitmag. (And obviously subscribe to their YouTube channel for ultimate joy. So much food! So much personality! Wowee!) -Megan Burns
There’s no one on the Internet (nonetheless Instagram) quite like Fecal Matter. The artists / DJs / designers behind the account push the envelope in fashion, and body image, on the daily with their architectural clothes and unusual prosthetics. Their stories are bondage studded trips straight into outer space. They, unfortunately, seem to have slowed down their posting frequency, but they’re still the golden standard in terms of creating fascinating, quality content that no one else is doing. Also, saying their name out loud to people always makes me smile. -Kaylee Dugan
Aminatou Sow is an all around awesome human whose IG stories are worth a follow solely due to the their quality. It’s a grab bag of content – will you get a hilarious series of memes? Some collectible STAMP CONTENT (way cooler than it sounds)? A feature on an awesome artist you didn’t know existed? It’s always just really great content. -Marissa Rubenstein
O Future (FKA OOFJ) are an LA-based “terrifying electronic” (their words, not mine, but I agree!) music project comprised of married duo Katherine Mills Rymer and Jens Bjørnkjær. Their music is v. good (seriously, ch-ch-ch-check it out), but their IG stories (largely helmed by Katherine, I think) are the weirdness you never knew you needed. Totally bizarre in like, the somehow classiest and most interesting of ways, if that makes sense. Maybe not everyone’s aesthetic, but 110% mine // JOIN ME! -Megan Burns
Shiona Turini is a stylist and costume designer who has worked on more than a few of my favorite things. She’s collaborated with Beyonce and Solange, worked as a costume designer on Insecure and is the fashion brains behind all of the looks in Queen & Slim. It should come as no surprise that Turini’s Instagram Stories are a smorgasbord of killer outfits and genuinely cool people. She also posts a ton of photos and videos in Bermuda, and it always makes me feel like I’m on a mini vacation. -Kaylee Dugan
Is it pretty much the most basic thing of all time that I am concerned with what kinds of new items they’ve got at Trader Joe’s? Yes. Am I still allowing myself to be concerned with what kinds of new items they’ve got at Trader Joe’s? YES. And Trader Joe’s List is normally the first to know about everything, hence why their IG stories are v. cr00sh. Did YOU know they have a vegan mac ‘n cheese in the refrigerated section now? Well YA GURL DID, all thanks to TJ’s List. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ -Megan Burns
Jamie Beck, the artist behind Ann Street Studio, has the most aesthetically pleasing account on Instagram. Located in Provence, Beck brings France to life through her Instagram stories, which feature trips to the market, walks through her town and the occasionally jaunt to Paris. Besides the A+ lifestyle content, Beck is constantly taking you behind the scenes of her personal and professional photography projects. She also shares a lot of information about her camera setup and Photoshop workflow. She’s a great person to follow whether you’re looking to learn some technical trips or you just want to look at beautiful photos of baguettes. -Kaylee Dugan