If you haven’t discovered Pinterest yet, it’s probably because you have a life or you have testicles. Luckily I have neither, and I am willing to offer my expert advice on how to navigate this multi-faceted networking site for the pinfully ignorant. Below are descriptions of what I’ve found to be the most popular forums on Pinterest, aka a guide on how to waste days on end yet feel as though you’re prepared to transform your entire existence for less than the cost of a used Kia.
Though it has its own unique category on the site, the philosophy of DIY permeates Pinterest as thoroughly as a homemade coconut oil and vinegar concoction deep conditions your hair, supposedly. Every other pin contains useful suggestions on how to give yourself at-home spa treatments, turn refrigerator boxes into elegant candelabras, or transform heinous, unpolished fingernails into tiny works of art that will last a solid three days, or take three days to finish, I’m not sure. My most interesting homemade find was a mold in the form of a woman’s unmentionable fun zone, which only required four ingredients and a plastic cup and gave entirely new meaning to the phrase “do it yourself.”
Hair & Beauty
Did you know there are at least 50 ways to put your hair in a messy bun? Pinterest users will happily share their knowledge on all things pretty in this popular forum. It is the category I find myself perusing most often, and yet is the one I apply to my own life the least. Because after looking at manicures on Pinterest for five hours in one sitting, I realize that I simply do not have the time for frivolous pampering.
Food & Drink
This section is all about eye candy – holiday-themed, royal wedding-worthy, Weight Watchers approved eye candy. When you’ve run out of creative ways to plant an herb garden, hop on over to Food & Drink to discover the wonders of cupcake design. This category is most likely to get the pinned down Pinner out of her chair and into the grocery store, if only to wind up back in the chair with a heavy food coma and icing in her hair. Blue icing, for a cool summer look that repairs split ends for less than the cost of store brand shampoo!
A likely place you’ll find yourself after gorging on those pumpkin cheesecake muffins Pinterest insisted you bake is the fitness section. It’s chock full of miraculous yet simple work out routines, a dozen different ways to drink water, and more photos of babes in neon sports bras than an American Apparel catalog. Pins alternate between bullying “get off your lazy bum and go running already” messages and “don’t let the scale define who you are” words of advice. It’s enough to make your head spin, which by the way burns an average of 80 calories an hour, and the most likely outcome of all this motivational talk is, you guessed it, another day of hovering between self-contentment and self-loathing.
For those brief moments in life when you’re not gazing at the computer, the first thing you might realize is that your happiness is in direct proportion to the amount of accent walls you have in your domicile. If you happen to discover you live in a complete dump, Pinterest will guide you to the easiest/cheapest ways to transform your home from “decrepit shack” to “rustic getaway.” In fact, the site’s function as an e-commerce platform is readily apparent in home décor, where you can find links to merchant websites mainly specializing in doily art and monogrammed throw pillows. But like any brilliant, money-saving idea you’ll find on Pinterest, the first step is always the hardest: logging off of Pinterest. I have yet to come across any advice on how to accomplish this most difficult of tasks, but I’m confident that when I do it will be delicious, effortless, and perfect for my next baby shower.
Renee Floyd is a UC Santa Cruz graduate who now spends 27 hours a day on Pinterest – and loves it.