Greta lounges on my bed as I strip down to my lacy, red bra and thong set to take a birthday lingerie pic for Instagram. “It’s best if I take the picture,” she says. “I’ll be able to see right away if your stomach sticks out.” Gazing at my body in a full-length mirror, I place my hand on my belly. “Oh, don’t worry,” she says. “It’s only because you had that extra piece of cake yesterday. You’ve probably only gained a pound!” I don’t care about the cake, I know I look hot. I will admit though that it was horrible to change the 23 to 24 on my profile!
“Maybe you should skip the pic until tomorrow,” Greta suggests, eyes glinting. “You know, after you’ve gone to the gym.”
“Oh come-on!” I shout. “I may have gained a pound, but I’m still way sexy.” I step away from the mirror, put on my fun fur coat jacket over my bra, and sit on the edge of my bed. “Then again, I certainly can’t risk losing any followers—I’ve finally made it to 10K!” I slip the jacket off my shoulders and onto my bed to check myself out in the mirror. Small boobs (but they look way bigger in this push-up bra), flat stomach (I don’t give a fuck what Greta says), voluptuous hips (I’m blessed to be both thin and curvy), long legs with perfect thighs, and a great ass—although I’m doing a front pose today to show off the bra. My followers must wait till tomorrow to see me modeling this tiny red thong from the back!
Greta adjusts the camera lens, gently sliding her manicured fingernail around it. Hot sunlight streams into my bedroom, but that’s okay because it softens the natural tones of my skin. “Oh yeah,” I turn to Greta, squinting my eyes from the sun. “Remind me to pose with my right arm facing out, so you get my full sleeve tattoo.”
“Sure,” she says. “But when are you going to get your other arm finished?”
“I don’t have enough money. My leg cost way more than expected: he filled in my entire thigh!”
“You’re lucky! You always get the greatest comments on your tattoos!” Greta says. “Yesterday, I got the lamest one under my winter bikini photo.”
“What was it?”
“Some old guy, who must be around 35 wrote: ‘How turned on do you get when you take a picture of yourself half-naked?’”
Greta and I both burst out laughing! “Turned on?!” I exclaim. “He thinks that we get turned on when we post these pics? That reminds me of a comment I got last week when I posted my new thigh tattoo. Some sleazeball said, “Are you as adventurous in bed as you are when you get your tattoos?”
“What a dipshit!” Greta says. “As if one has anything to do with the other!”
“Yeah, I mean, just because I have so many tattoos doesn’t mean I’m ‘adventurous’ in bed! In fact, I’m kind of frigid.”
“Me too,” Greta says. “I’m actually afraid to try new things. Sometimes, I’m so exhausted from the gym, I hardly move at all, making him do all of the work!” She moves off my bed, checking herself out in the mirror, pulling up the bottom of her top while sucking in her stomach. “Take my birthday lingerie pic now,” I command.
Greta snaps photo after photo, telling me not to smile—that guys find me much sexier with a dark-eyed, sexy pout. As she works magic with the camera, it’s no effort following her instruction to pout. I simply allow myself to think about how much I hate it that I need guys to desire me; about how I doubt myself, and, thus, must get validation from posting erotic photos of me; about how I’m addicted to Instagram, and the rush I get as my fan base expands. I think about my fans waiting for my next post, and Greta praises me as a few tears cluster in the corners of my eyes. “Keep it up, girl, you look gorgeous when you cry!”
Chrissi Sepe is the author of novel, Bliss, Bliss, Bliss, which is about a struggling singer-songwriter named Felicity who is a cross between Hannah Horvath and Tori Amos. Her latest novel is set in late 1980s New York City, and is entitled Iggy Gorgess. Her essay, “A Recipe for Immortality,” appears in the Anais Nin Literary Journal, A Cafe In Space, Volume 13.