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Pinterest, a content sharing platform, uses a customized algorithm to collect and categorize images into boards. Pinterest has grown a particular reputation for granting people a stress-free space to bolster creativity. The app has a limited ability to engage with other individuals, allowing the user to feel immersed in a private bubble of their own interests. For many users, Pinterest is an online location to indulge in the creative productions of others that can awaken inspiration and bloom one out of mental roadblocks.

Distinctly, my interests concern the creative outlets of such fine arts like paintings and drawings, as well as scenic photography and modeling shoots that make use of a diverse variety of makeup styles, nail art, and clothing subcultures. In particular, my feed is refined toward abstract paintings, layered photography, contrasting eyeshadow combinations, and bright atypical hair colors. In relation to clothing, my feed is mainly cultivated toward deconstructionism, monochromes, the “fairy-core” aesthetic, and renaissance dresses. The app’s vast connectivity has guided me toward artists like Graham Dean and Yuhan Wang, who often remind me of the importance of prioritizing the natural body in its intrinsic beauty and utility. In searching for both simplistic art and that which reaches outside conventional standards, I tend to group pictures in alignment with the emotions that they elicit. Viewing these artistic pictures allows me to reach directly into the emotion I interpret the images to reflect and translate the conscious sensation into my writing. The creativity by one aids the creativity in another.

But with its capability comes its drawbacks, as do with all social media platforms. Pinterest pitfalls into the same consequences that result from several popular sites: choice overload and the feeling of individual inferiority. Touching on choice overload, internet access to such a wide variety of personal lives may overwhelm the user in feeling unable to decide which depicted life they want to replicate, especially in the realm of choosing careers. Bombarded with many broad possibilities swamps one into feeling that, with such great variety, there is always something different to adventure after that makes their own interests appear inferior. And for the Instagram user, an extensive quantity of public images that give the impression of a perfect life catalyzes the user into comparison, overly internalizing their personal imperfections. Pinterest is none the least exempt from inflicting feelings of insecurity upon the user. In a creative space, such excitement and imaginative inspiration can lead the individual to feel overwhelmed and second-class in their own art production. Notably, the spread of clothing styles online can influence the user to recultivate their clothing collection, leading to considerable clothing consumption. It is evident one must keep in mind that sustainability, in its definition, is not completely compatible with creativity and consumption. 

This is not to say it is bad to desire changing one’s style, as clothing can be a marker of creative expression, and it is desirable to own the garments and accessories that correctly express the individual. In each individual exists an artist of their world perspective, choosing to paint beauty based upon the eye they behold. And to the frequent Pinterest consumer who utilizes the platform to aid the zealous artist’s mindset, making productive use of its existence means learning to balance the creative motivation it sprouts and the envy it concocts.

Nonetheless, even in the face of any of these short-lived feelings of mediocrity or gloom, Pinterest keeps me encharmed, and I briskly make my arrival back toward its creative abundance. This safe haven unites art production with art appreciators, creating a connective community that simultaneously allows the user to disconnect. It maintains an overarching magnetic allure, providing a momentary escape into one’s own blissful sanctuary.

She/Her UC Davis ‘24 Political Science- Public Service
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