By: Isabel Thomas
If you have been active on Instagram these past few months, chances are you have come across a handful of “affirmation” pages. With sarcastic captions and related photos, these pages aim to “claim positive energy” for the topics that they post about.
This trend began with Mats Nesterov Anderson, a 20-year-old Norwegian artist, who “was inspired by early internet digital imagery and old-school new age spirituality websites”. Many people consider the posts on these affirmation pages to be random and do not see the point of them.
However, Anderson takes offense to this. In an interview with Rolling Stone he said, “It’s not some boring affirmations page or a boring satirical take on positivity. It’s so much more than that.” His goal in creating the page was to “bring modernist art to Instagram” and help people “think more positively.”
While not everyone was aware of Anderson’s intentions, these pages became vastly popular in mere months, especially for high schoolers when the school year began. Many viewed the accounts as a way to joke around and connect with those in their communities.
Soon after the return to in-person school at BSA, two affirmations pages were created for the whole school. These pages highlight a wide range of posts from department specific posts such as “Someday SDP will get a new espresso machine.”, to general school-wide affirmations like “The bathrooms are empty when I enter.” These accounts quickly gained the recognition of many students at BSA because of their sarcastic nature and how amusing they were.
Many department-specific pages were made branching off of these two accounts and while most of them were only active for a short period of time, it allowed all students to participate and feel connected to other students at the school. Senior Visual Artist Gigi Pilla said, “I think it’s kinda a place to poke fun or just to joke around.”
The creator of @bsa.affirmations, who would like to stay anonymous in order to keep the spirit of the account going, had been following Anderson and other schools’ affirmation pages for a while and noticed that BSA did not have one. Because of this, they decided to create one for BSA.
Shortly after this first account was created, a second one appeared. While the owner of the first account was initially confused by the creation of the second one, they came to enjoy having another page. They said, “I kind of like it because it says some more ‘out there’ things that I am not willing to say but I think are funny.”
The posts on the page are spontaneous and never planned. The account creator said, “When I first decided to make the account I only had two ideas. But now everything I see… they just come naturally. It is very easy to come up with ideas in this school.” When they come across something that they feel could potentially be used for a post, the creator takes a photo and saves it for a future affirmation.
While you may have noticed that the account has not been as active lately, it is still up and running. They believe in “quality over quantity” and want all affirmations to “come from the heart”. The creator says that they will “post when inspiration strikes, however often that may be.”
From the beginning, the goal of affirmation pages was to spread art and positivity which is exactly what it has done to BSA’s school community. Junior Vocalist Ronald Johnson said, “It’s kind of a morale boost because the quotes are ironic but true.”
When looking at the accounts it is easy to tell that work went into every post to have them relate to all of the other affirmation posts. They all have a standard style that consists of a purple “meme” style font and a caption that says “Comment ‘I CLAIM’ to Affirm” with an abundance of comments saying “I CLAIM”.
Walking around the halls of BSA it is common to hear conversation about how relatable and funny the different affirmations are. These pages have created shared laughter and helped students relate to each other throughout the school community. This is all because of an artist sharing their art and creativity, something that BSA students are constantly doing with both each other and the greater community.
To contact this writer, email Muse Newspaper at firstname.lastname@example.org.