Scrolling through Instagram is basically the same thing as taking a concentrated look at today's cultural zeitgeist. Whether it's politics, pop culture, or any other defining aspect of a generation, Instagram is the place to go to see it, understand it, and post about it. We think that's why Instagram trends go viral so quickly; it's one of the biggest platforms for millennials (and members of Gen Z) to communicate. These trends range from humorous to dangerous. Think duck-lipped selfies versus the thigh-gap trend.
Nevertheless, Instagram trends are interesting, just like the newest one that's taking hold on social media. The Cut coined the new trend "bath-leisure," and it's been gaining traction with celebs and influencers for a while now. To answer your question, yes, it's exactly what it sounds like.
The trend, demonstrated by model Hailey Clauson here, involves wearing a towel or robe (any bathroom attire, really) with a full face of makeup… or at least a canvas of flawless skin, which is easier said than done, right? These bathroom selfies have been all over the accounts of models, influencers, and bloggers—but it doesn't matter if you're actually in a bathroom or not.
As Olivia Culpo demonstrates, the picture can be taken in any setting. The only thing that matters is that you're wearing a towel or robe or something similar. The name itself is a play on athleisure, but instead of making workout clothes the norm in public, it's flaunting bathroom apparel. We're guessing this whole trend was inspired by Instagram models, who regularly post selfies of themselves getting their makeup or hair done on set before getting dressed.
This calls to mind Mario Testino's Towel Series, wherein the famous photographer published photos of celebs in just towels and robes. He still posts them on his Instagram from time to time, and that's immediately what we thought of when we heard about this social media trend. So who knows? Maybe it wasn't Instagram's community of models who inspired it. Maybe it was Mario Testino.
This Instagram trend, just like so many others, isn't exactly realistic. We wear towels and robes when we step out from the shower in the morning with dripping hair and dark circles under our eyes. Rarely does anyone wear these things with a fresh face of makeup. Nonetheless, it's funny, just like most other Instagram trends like it. Plus, it's easy to replicate. If you want to participate, all it takes is makeup (or some very nice lighting and clean, exfoliated skin) and a towel. We would have never guessed that an average bathroom towel would be the buzziest hair accessory.