YouTuber and Instagram influencer Natalia Taylor recently pulled a prank on her 2 million plus followers that shows just how easy it is to “fake it till you make it” on social media. Namely: she faked a whole trip to Bali… by going to IKEA.
“It’s been said that life on the Internet isn’t always what it seems,” says Taylor. “Especially in today’s day and age where it’s so easy to pretend to be anyone you want to be. And today, I’m putting that to the test to see if I can fake an entire vacation by posting false photos and Instagram stories.”
Taylor has more than enough followers (and likely income) so that she has no need to fake a trip to an exotic location. This is just an exercise in seeing if her 321K+ Instagram followers would fall for this all-too-common trick. So, together with photographer Ally Amodeo, she got all dressed up and made up, walked over to the nearby IKEA superstore, and tried to take as many glamorous photos in the store’s fully furnished displays as possible before things got too awkward to take.
To make things even more convincing, she also took some Instagram story videos with her phone and set up a whole timeline using easy to find videos on the Internet so she could further prove her point that it’s oh-so-easy to “fake it till you make it.”
They vlogged the whole thing, which is hard to watch (and apparently was even harder to stomach in real life) but here are the 8 photos that they captured and posted to Taylor’s Instagram account “from Bali”:
The on-camera-flash style is pretty garish, and they even intentionally left in a few IKEA tags after editing the shots, so you would think that not many users fell for the prank… but you would be wrong.
She posts the photos as she’s filming the YouTube video at the top of this post, and from beginning to end, nobody questions the lie. There are plenty of “heart eyes” emojis, recommendations of places to visit, and compliments—but not a single follower said anything that even implied they were suspicious that she was trying to pull something.
Watch the full video up top to see the prank from start to finish. And if you want to see a higher-quality, more inspirational spin on this kind of photo shoot, check out our coverage of Lowes “Ugly Places, Pretty Portraits” challenged that spawned a whole movement of people taking glamour shots inside stores like Lowes, Michaels, and IKEA.