Life in the “country — the country” is a real beach for this sneaky social media star.
Kendall Kiper has gone viral for revealing how she achieves the perfect Instagram snaps — by creating a fake, but believable, beach in her backyard.
The 20-year-old full-time content creator — who boasts more than 100,000 followers on Insta and TikTok combined — is regularly commissioned for paid brand advertisements on her page, forcing her to get a bit creative with her photo shoots.
For a recent post, the influencer fashioned a faux beach shoot in her backyard in Atlanta, Georgia, due to her lack of tropical environment.
In her now-viral “Slayy Home Depot” video — which has racked up more than 9.6 million views and 2 million likes — Kiper reveals how she bought $45 worth of $4 sand bags, a small cost for the picture-perfect beach that she says was “more than worth it.”
The image, a snap of her lounging on a beach towel in a bikini, is all an illusion, when she really lives in the countryside: “A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do,” she proudly declares in the clip. “I had a check that had to be made.”
TikTokers in the comments were both baffled and bemused by her crafty Instagram hack, sharing their surprise and praise for Kiper’s ultimate committment to her content.
“This is the biggest slay of the year,” wrote one user.
“The dedication to the content,” another said.
“And they say content creators aren’t creative,” chimed in another.
Kiper was shocked by the viral applause for her transparency, sharing with Jam Press that she’s always wanted to inspire others.
“It feels like a dream come true having this happen, especially after I’ve felt like giving up so much within the past year,” said Kiper, who is also an artist. “I have had a good amount of hate comments as well, mainly people telling me it’s ‘sad’ or that I am ‘creating a false reality’ — I don’t agree with either of those.”
But this isn’t Kiper’s first makeshift scene. For another paid partnership, she purchased a paddling pool for $70 — just for one photo. On another, she used photo-editing software to import a field of flowers into a picture.
“It sounds complicated but is actually pretty easy,” she admitted.
Kiper often uses her tripod to achieve her optimal photos, but sometimes employs the help of her mom, who even came up with the idea of the “beach” photo.
Despite the showering of praise on TikTok, she admits she’s gets some mixed reviews.
“Some people stare, others honk, some yell mean things and some don’t even look. It really just depends on the day, I guess,” she said. “When people are rude about it, I just remember how lucky I am to do this. I won’t let people I don’t even know stop me from doing what I love, for fun or for business.”
But she’s determined to continue sharing her “Instagram vs. reality” moments, recalling how her impressionable younger self did not realize social media wasn’t as luxurious as it appeared.
“I remember being 13 and on social media. I would have been spared so much self-hatred growing up if somebody had shown me that not everything is as glamorous as it looks,” she said. “Now that I am in a position where young girls look up to me, I want them to know that.”