“Social media seriously harms your mental health,” reads model Delilah Belle’s iPhone case, captured in a mirror selfie that also highlights her artificial nails, clear skin, expertly applied cat eye, and pouty lips. The bottom half of the case sports what is a parody of a drug label advertising “LIKES,” which are defined as a “loneliness reliever, depression reducer.”
The case is made by Urban Sophistication and has taken off as an accessory for professionally attractive women, as reporter Ashley Carman explains at the Verge. It’s an astute piece of trend reporting. Carman even gets a few models on the record talking about how the case helps them vocalize how social media makes them feel bad. My one complaint? It is not, as the piece’s headline suggests, “the phone case models use to subvert Instagram,” because neither the case, nor the way the women are using it, is effective at subverting Instagram. The phone case isn’t undermining Instagram’s power, as the title suggests. It’s more just a sign that even as consumers become skeptical of the platform, the platform can mutate to accommodate said skepticism.