Look around the page. Your internet is now very clean and familiar. Squarespace has made everyone’s personal website look like the inside of Monocle magazine, and every app is much the same — and not by accident.
The Windex-ing of the internet has gone so far that “ugly websites” are now a web design trend and not just the majority of your browsing history. We actively accepted this abundance of sans-serif and white space, of course. By choosing Apple or Android, you’ve agreed to live by the feed, where your only design choice is your profile picture.
Although Instagram, with its rows of tiny boxes and pre-determined filters, is hardly a rebellious place, some of the accounts it hosts offer a much needed respite from #unfiltered nights in the Cinque Terre.
The real world is still plenty ugly, after all. People are still dumping mattresses on the street and a few intrepid ugliness-seekers are willing to take the photo evidence for you to enjoy. That would would be the Instagram account, Mattresses of Melbourne.
Tom Lee, the creator of Instagram account The Australian Ugliness that seeks out architectural oddities (disclosure: Lee is a friend), told Mashable Australia that in many ways, finding ugliness was an easier proposition for him than prettiness.
“From my perspective, I was uncomfortable with the idea of doing something that was beautiful or pretty,” he said. “It’s a lot harder for me to feel a sense of certainty about the aesthetic judgments associated with the beautiful than with the ugly or the irregular.”
So much of the internet is about presenting the picturesque, or failing that, the cute, that pictures of suburban artefacts ranging from the banal to architectural fever dream fill a gap. These bespoke collections of ugliness are also about demonstrating knowingness — an in-joke available to anyone who can click “follow.”
“By choosing beautiful things, like sunsets, you run the risk of coming across as naive,” Lee added, “where ugliness is the genre of the more aware.”
Give your tired eyes a rest, delete those breakfast inspo accounts and cleanse the palate with these horrid Instagram accounts. So ugly, so soothing.