Emily Carlo seems to be a typical Steinhardt sophomore, but she has something of a double identity. She is the mind behind the popular Instagram account Miss New Foodie, where her tempting food photos and witty captions have attracted an audience of almost 40,000 followers. Carlo had no plans for Internet fame when she opened the account in the fall of her freshman year.
“I literally just started it one day, there’s no special story,” Carlo said. “I don’t remember exactly what triggered it.”
At first, her followers were limited to her friends and residents on her floor of Third North Residence Hall, but Carlo’s social media presence expanded quickly. The biggest jump in followers came this summer after the popular website The Infatuation reposted one of Carlo’s photos.
“I realized that if you comment on other people’s photos, they’ll look at your account and follow you back” Carlo said. “So I started commenting on random people’s photos, and that’s how I started getting followers.”
Many of Carlo’s classmates are unaware of her alter ego, but she has translated her Instagram expertise into her schoolwork as a media, culture and communication major.
“We did a project about audiences in social media, and I did mine on different cultures on Instagram,” Carlo said. “I made my presentation about Miss New Foodie.”
Being an Instagram celebrity takes more than just eating great food. Carlo’s own tastes sometimes have to take a backseat in order for her to create the best content.
“The other day, I posted eggs for breakfast and then when I went out to lunch, I wanted eggs again,” Carlo said. “But I knew I couldn’t do that, so I got tacos or something.”
Carlo usually posts multiple times a day, which mean she is constantly searching for inspiration for the clever captions that go along with her photos.
“I’ll sit with my iPod open and listen to song lyrics and try and formulate a caption out of them,” Carlo said. “I also Google jokes about a food, like waffles, and do something around that.”
Carlo said everything she eats does not show up on her Instagram feed. As a former nutrition major she does take health into consideration and eats lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables in addition to the sugar and carbs featured on Miss New Foodie.
“People don’t want to watch me eat my healthy food,” Carlo said. “They just want to see the fun stuff.”
While Carlo might be known for her food, the fun is really her main focus.
“I’m not interested in being a food reviewer,” Carlo said. “I use Instagram more as an entertainment piece. Obviously it’s surrounded by food, but the captions are meant for you to tag your friends and talk about it.”
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Mar. 14th print edition. Email Kendall at [email protected]