The Taxonomy of Terrible Food Instagrams

We've identified the most atrocious #foodporn sins, so you don't have to be a #struggleplate perpetrator.

  • Click through the gallery to see the most common Instagram food-porn fails...
  • The Shiny Meat Shot
There's a reason photographers don't set their greasy chicken directly under fluorescent lights before photographing, or use flash to shoot meat in the dark. Do Instagrammers guilty of The Shiny Meat shot actually think people drool over silvery poultry grease?
  • That Thing You Just Took a Bite Out Of Shot
Maybe this type of Instagram is used as a way to mark your territory. A sign that you don't want anyone else to eat the food you're eating, like licking Halloween candy before your siblings get to it. Either way, photograph before you feast, please.
  • The Food Label Shot
Unless Orangina changes their packaging so that it no longer includes sexy zoo animals in bikinis, we don't care. We bought Milka bars with the EXACT. SAME. PACKAGING. Unwrap the thing and it might even look decent.
  • The Nasty Ass Leftovers Shot
This shot honestly seems like punishment. You spent time and effort making a delicious dish, which you probably Instagrammed the first time around. But the second time? It's all brown and mushy and decomposed. Eat that second-day shame without sharing it, please.
  • The All Beige Everything ShotA monochrome clothing palette is one thing, but a single food color plate is just kind of gross. Let us introduce you to vegetables, fruits, and things other than carbs. You really don't need to photograph that bread and mashed potato sandwich with a side of pale French fries.
  • The Selfie Tagged as #Foodporn
There are so many unanswered questions here. Who are you? Why are you and your boyfriend #foodporn? Why are you holding your ponytail like that? It is an unanswerable mystery that stretches back to the beginning of Instagram.
  • The Unappealing Pizza Shot
The Unappealing Pizza Shot turns this paragon of cheesy delight into a disgusting, greasy-looking horror. Again, fluorescent light bounces off of shiny surfaces (like grease), so your 'grammed pizza just isn't going to look pretty underneath the shining lights of Sbarro.
  • The Ugly Latte Art ShotThere are some truly legendary baristas out there. Using only foam and deft wrist movements, they paint pictures of Spongebob and
  • The Weird Post-Workout Meal Shot
What? Your smoothie is made of raw carob, maca powder, acai berry, and a pound of spinach? Unfortunately, it's the color of vomit, and there's no color correction feature on Instagram.
  • The Cocktails in the Dark Shot
You step into a dimly-lit bar. You order a mai tai. You whip out your iPhone, turn on the flash, and 'gram your cocktail. It's blurry, it looks like it's glowing, and it def shouldn't be on Instagram.

Instagram really is the greatest. Scrolling through an endless feed, you see pictures of people’s families, their artsy sunset shots, the kind of booze they drink and…oh my god, what is that thing!?

Mushy leftovers, greasy pizza, shiny meat, and other food sins lurk around every corner of Instagram, hiding under the pseudonyms #foodporn, #food, and #dinner. Think about it: a mashed potato sandwich on white bread next to a mound of anemic-looking fries just isn’t a good photography subject—and it’s not a dish that even the Lo-Fi filter can help.

Because we care, we’ve written the official guide to terrible food Instagrams. Find out how to spot them in the wild, and learn how not to be a perpetrator of these Instagram crimes yourself before it’s too late and you’re left with five followers. And please, don’t encourage your friends by ‘liking’ their #strugglegrams.

Here, we present the ultimate travesties of food Instagrams, so you can avoid them at all cost. 

RELATED: Meet the Instagram Account Where Food Porn Goes to Die

RELATED: The Pro Guide to Taking Better Instagram Food Photos


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