Will Smith’s Joyous Instagram Is the Only Good Thing About 2018
In a world full of alt-right trolls and neo-Nazi memes, the former Fresh Prince’s Instagram is a much-needed source of dad jokes and viral stunts.
The internet, long used for less-than-kosher purposes, has reached a whole new level of fucked up in this deranged year of 2018. From the alt-right’s infiltration of Amazon to former Twitter darling Racism WatchDog’s controversial fall from grace to the disturbingly intrusive #PlaneBae saga (on top of the growing number of creeps thriving on nearly every platform imaginable), it’s a wonder why we even stay logged on at all.
Thankfully, there are still a few wholesome corners of the internet left—and Will Smith’s Instagram account is one of them.
The Fresh Prince and Men in Black star appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show late last year, where DeGeneres introduced him to the photo-sharing platform and gave him some well-meaning (if a little outdated) tips, like how to pose with duck lips or take a successful mirror selfie.
Since then, Smith has amassed over 17.8 million followers on his Instagram—a feat that took him less than seven months. He started off with the usual, caption-less photos that are typical of Instagram newbies, but wasted no time trolling Justin Timberlake and bemoaning the holiday sweater wife Jada forced him to wear. A particularly hilarious documentation of the family’s holiday activities hinted at the vlogging prodigy Smith would soon become.
Smith quickly embraced the platform, which he’d previously avoided in his career. He was prolific in his creation of vlogs—ranging from recordings of harmless pranks to video diaries chronicling his life (even celebrities have to go to jury duty!) and travels (a run-in with an Australian meat pie is a side-splitting highlight). Before you could say I make this look good, Smith’s Instagram had transformed into a social-media goldmine.
In celebration of son Jaden reaching 100 million Spotify streams in February, Smith pulled the ultimate embarrassing dad move: he parodied Jaden’s music video for “Icon.” Sporting a similar outfit replete with a grill, and executing some less-than-smooth dance moves, Smith ends the brief but cheeky parody with a heartfelt message of pride for his son.
Around the same time, Smith also created an Oscar-worthy Instagram movie in support of the Philadelphia Eagles during the Super Bowl, featuring stellar camera work and an inspired soundtrack. The Eagles ended up beating the Patriots, which prompted some more hysterical dance moves from Smith.
Smith’s latest—and possibly greatest—Instagram stunt came yesterday while the actor was in Budapest. His video is a response to the #InMyFeelings challenge, which blew up on Instagram after user TheShiggyShow posted his very literal dance interpretation of Drake’s hit “In My Feelings.” Since then, celebrities like Ciara and Kevin Hart have taken to the gram to show off their attempts at the challenge, but Smith clearly killed it: perched on top of a bridge, he dances his heart (and feelings) out with all of Budapest below him. Drizzy himself offered nothing but praise in the comments section of Smith’s post.
Like any other dad’s Instagram, Smith’s page is also filled with charming selfies and misused hashtags. In between the dad humor and viral videos, however, he also posts some self-help content, with highlights at the top of his profile organized into categories like “Self Love,” “Happiness” and “Failure.”
“I believe self-discipline is the definition of self-love,” Smith cheerfully explains. Other videos from these highlights offer similar, but no less sincere, platitudes.
There are a lot of messed up things going on right now. Distressing issues like immigration policies and the Supreme Court saga (to name a few) make it increasingly difficult to remain upbeat. Obviously an Instagram account won’t change any of this, but Smith’s endearing dad humor and amusing vlogs provide some much-needed relief—and, if possible, make you love the Fresh Prince even more.