travel

'I went to the Maldives for a week and here's what I quickly noticed about other couples.'

The crisis of the modern age is very simple.

If you go to the Maldives, but never get a photo where your tan offers the perfect contrast to the white sand and transparent blue water, and you’re laughing with joy at nothing in particular, which in turn flexes your abdominal muscles, then did you ever actually go to the Maldives?


No.

You f*cking didn’t.

And that’s what no one tells you on the brochure.

The first day my partner and I were away, I asked if he’d take a photo of me. Yes – it was awkward and weird but it was a relationship milestone it was time we hit.

What I got back was nothing short of appalling.

In the photos where I wasn’t sneezing/recovering from a sneeze, I had only one eye open and looked like a less sun-kissed version of Quasimodo.

Me in the Maldives.
Me in the Maldives.
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He obviously missed the memo that when you take a photo of a woman who thinks she looks good right now you take upwards of 35 pictures. Not two... where the focus is on her third chin and/or the remainder of lunch resting on her bottom lip.

His preferred angle was low facing upwards, highlighting features such as inside my nose and the little mole I have under my chin.

Cool.

When I took a photo of him, I went rapid fire, providing an album of frankly stunning images where he looked at least 60% better than he does in real life.

THIS IS WHY WOMEN HAVE NO SELF ESTEEM AND MEN LIKE DONALD TRUMP EXIST. IF YOU WANT TO HATE YOURSELF JUST ASK YOUR BOYFRIEND TO TAKE A PHOTO OF YOU AND THEN LOOK AT IT. EASY.

But it was while I was on a boat, on our way to snorkel with whale sharks, that I saw... it.

On this week's episode of Mamamia Out Loud, Holly Wainwright, Mia Freedman and I discuss the most bizarre Instagram behaviour we've witnessed overseas, and whether or not it's ruining our holidays. Post continues below...

As we sat on the top deck, a couple climbed the stairs - the woman eagerly scouting the best backdrop.

She sat, back straight, her left leg casually crossed over her right, and asked her boyfriend to take some photos.

The Instagram Photo Shoot went for more than 45 minutes and I didn't know whether to a) enthusiastically applaud her or b) let her know she'd missed four turtles floating by.

 

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Chasing whale sharks and trying to take selfies like all the other couples.

A post shared by Jessie Stephens (@jessiestephens90) on

After he took about 50 shots, she'd have a scroll, while he waited patiently in exactly the same position. She would criticise his photography (justifiably I'd imagine) and then tell him to take more.

She had some photos at the front of the boat. The back of the boat. Looking into the distance. On her back. Her boyfriend obediently took the pictures, and listened to her very helpful feedback.

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We realised pretty quickly that the Instagram Photo Shoot was the rule and not the exception.

There were tripods set up on the beach. There was lighting equipment. There were women in long white gowns waiting for the sunset.

And I was in two minds about it.

On the one hand, these women GOT THEIR SHOT. They weren't left with a few frankly offensive images of themselves on their phone that they were eventually forced to delete for the sake of their wellbeing/mental health.

For some people too, getting a good shot is their job. They might have been influencers, and if that's how someone earns their income, then all power to them.

But.

On the other hand, I'd be lying if I didn't admit there's something slightly disconcerting about someone taking a photo of themselves with a selfie ring light attached to their phone over dinner.

selfie light
More people used these than you'd imagine. Image via The Droid Guy.

I understand that for many people, especially those with large social media followings, everything is content.

But at what point do we start making decisions based on the possibility of content? And is there something sad about that?

Did you ever really go to the Maldives if you spent whole afternoons documenting your trip to the Maldives? And if, as was the case of the woman on the boat deck, you got photos on your way to snorkel with the whale sharks, but never actually got into the water to snorkel with the whale sharks?

Perhaps there's a middle ground.

But if there's one thing I know for sure it's this: No one, and I mean no one, cares as much about your holiday pictures as you do.

And there's something oddly liberating about that.

Speaking of holidays... what type of Instagrammer are you?

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