The Casual Carousel

The days of posting one perfect image are gone

By Laina Claydon

Friday, 29th of April 2022

Long gone are the days of posting one perfect image on Instagram. Instead, it’s all about casual carousels. 

With the term ‘authenticity’ being at the forefront of marketing, it’s no wonder why this trend has become so popular. 

Casual posting is about making your feed look more authentic, carefree and less thought-out.

In actual fact, it’s just as calculated as before.

Casual posting takes the form of a carousel of images on Instagram that some people call a ‘photo dump’. 

Instead of simply posting one picture-perfect photo of your outfit or holiday, it’s now all about showing everything: from your dinner to your dog and quirky street art. For added easygoing vibes, some are even unedited. 

Influencers such as Emma Chamberlain and Olivia Neill are the queens of casual posting and so it’s easy to see why everybody is doing it. 

Photo-dumping is a great way to show a more realistic version of your day and to come across more ‘casual’ on your social media, which is in stark contrast to the ‘perfect’ ways in which we tried to present ourselves for years on the photo-sharing platform. 

With influencers’ lives quickly becoming unobtainable to followers due to their wealth and lifestyles, casual posting has allowed them to appear more relatable to us – and it even gives us a glimpse into their ‘normal’ lives that we’ve not previously seen.

Casual posting definitely saw a rise during the start of the pandemic. After all, when we were all stuck at home unable to see our friends and family, we didn’t want to see others living their best lives. 

This more relaxed approach to photo-sharing sounds like a good thing, but is it?

There is now a whole new pressure to not only look super cool on your Instagram but also make sure every aspect of your day is ‘Instagrammable’. Now, more people than ever are proving to their audience how interesting their life is, and not only are people comparing their looks to their favourite influencers but their lifestyles too. 

Not everyday can look as fun and colourful as these photo dumps, and they often don’t include the commute to work, rainy weather and more mundane day-to-day activities that take up our days. 

With photo dumps comes a change in beauty trends too. People are now sharing their ‘clean’ makeup and glowy skin with brushed up brows. This new trend comes hand-in-hand with casual posting because everybody wants to look effortless, even if it means putting in more effort to look as if they haven’t.

Interestingly, it reminds us of how Instagram started out when feeds were full of instant snapshots of completely random things. There is even a hashtag #makeinstagramcasualagain that has been used over 48,000 times which began in 2018 and peaked in popularity in 2020.

And it’s not just influencers getting in on the trend, big name celebrities like Olivia Rodrigo, Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid have taken to casual posting. 

That’s a sure sign that this trend won’t be going anywhere for a while.