Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen accounts like @lahs_sleeps, @mvhs_badparking and @palybathroomshoes pop up all over Instagram. It seems like these days, there’s not much we can do on campus without the fear of landing ourselves on the next Instagram post. (These days being literally, like, the last five days.)
Parking, going to the bathroom, snoozing in class, slouching in class, eating bananas and eating anything anywhere seem to be off limits if you’re hoping to avoid landing on the designated Instagram account (@lahs.bad.posture, @mvhsbananacam, @lahs_eatingcam, etc.). So all of this has got us wondering: Who’s behind these accounts? What’s the point? And what’s next?
Your favorite ardent student journalists — us, obviously — took it upon ourselves to find the answers.
For anybody that ISN’T aware of this stuff: High schoolers are creating Instagram accounts where they post photos submitted by other students who spot classmates engaged in the designated subject matter (sleeping in class, parking poorly, etc.). And usually they’re pretty hilarious. It’s all a part of a broader national trend, thanks to TikTok.
Of a multitude of hilarious accounts on the Paly, Gunn, Los Altos and Mountain View campuses, @gunnbathroomshoes is one of the oldest (started on Nov. 9). We weren’t able to reach them for comment, but we DID talk to @palybathroomshoes, which has been around for almost as long. It has 287 followers, and the Gunn account has 430.
The account’s dedicated to posting under-the-stall pictures — taken mostly by strangers, according to one of the anonymous account admins — of students’ shoes.
“I can tell what kind of person someone is by their shoes in a way,” one admin said. “Converse can be artsy or basic, and combat boots tend to be worn by goth people. People with dirty shoes tend to be in the bathrooms changing for sports.”
The idea was born when the three friends discussed it at a dinner and thought it could be a hit, especially following the creation of @gunnbathroomshoes, which was created by a friend of one of the Paly account admins.
“It’s interesting how close I am to other people in bathroom stalls but no one ever talks, so in a way it feels violating for no reason,” the admin said.
As for privacy, the account will take down bathroom shoe posts upon request, and the owners say they aren’t concerned about school administrative action. For now, it seems @palybathroomshoes will live on for “as long as people send us bathroom shoes.”
And the fun isn’t limited to just Gunn and Paly! The two most-followed accounts at Los Altos (which also has its very own bathroom shoes account), are @lahs_sleeps and @lahs.bad.posture, and you can probably guess what they’re up to.
“We’re fixing the posture of LAHS one post at a time,” said one of @lahs.bad.posture’s admins, both of whom are seniors. “Carrying the spine health of the student body on our back, if you will.”
The account, which already has 30 posts and 389 followers since starting this Tuesday, features photos of students in the library, quad, 400 wing and classrooms — basically anywhere — sitting with bad posture. Ruthless.
What kind of criteria do the account admins have for “bad posture?” Well, it sounds like there’s nothing too strict. But the only time two of them haven’t posted a photo is when somebody asked them to take it down — something that’s only happened once, and it was one of their friends.
@lahs_sleeps, which posts photos of students snoozing in class, has more strict submission criteria.
“I’ve only had the account for a couple days, but I’ve already gotten about 75 submissions,” said the account admin, who’s a junior. “There have been some pretty bad submissions, like when the person is not even sleeping or they’re obviously staging it. … I know it’s staged when I can see the person in the photo smiling or something like that. They’re still pretty hilarious, but for now I’m not posting them because it doesn’t seem as fun.”
And that formula seems to be working: Since starting the account on Tuesday, the account already has 45 posts and 537 followers. Both @lahs_sleeps and @lahs.bad.posture had thoughts on respecting privacy, and where to draw the line.
“Most of the accounts going around are pretty funny, but I feel like some of them do push the boundaries,” said @lahs.bad.posture’s admin, listing a couple accounts that we won’t link to. “I think going too far is making fun of people for something they can’t really fix right away.”
Posture, they noted, is something you can fix quickly: It’s “no big deal.”
“There have been some pretty concerning accounts which just ruin the fun of it,” said @lahs_sleeps’s admin. “I’ve seen accounts targeting people of color, special education students and a lot of other pretty mean stuff. Thankfully most of them get reported and suspended pretty quickly, though.”
We weren’t able to independently verify the existence of such accounts — probably because they’ve been taken down.
“Since the start, I’ve made it clear that I’m respecting people’s privacy, so I’ve said in my bio that you can request a photo of you be taken down, which has happened already,” said @lahs_sleeps’s admin.
It should be noted that Los Altos also has a “bad parking” account, taking inspiration from its Mountain View equivalent, @mvhs_badparking, which first appeared in early October with its signature posts critiquing the parking jobs of students and sporting captions such as “Park more to the left next time” and “Yikes.”
The first of these accounts to emerge within local schools, @mvhs_badparking’s charm has allowed it to surpass 500 followers. While the account doesn’t shy away from capturing “Monday madness” (which is realistically a week-long occurrence), it does censor license plates in its posts. The account sadly did not respond to our interview request.
But luckily for us (and you!) @mvhsbananacam did respond. The account captures students, as the name might suggest, eating bananas, and has racked up 278 followers since late November.
One might ask: Why bananas? While the admin gained inspiration from TikTok, there’s a second, surprisingly logical reason: They’re already all over campus at brunch.
“[The account’s] probably going to last until people stop sending in pictures or when the brunch ladies stop giving out bananas,” the anonymous admin said.
The account has posted all but one photo that it has received: a photo of “just a banana [with] a fork in it.”
“No clue what’s going on there,” the admin said.
Nearly all of these submissions are sent in by “random” other students, with only a select few knowing the admin’s true identity. So, how is the admin feeling about it all? And what’s the account’s secret to gaining followers?
“[I was] a bit [surprised by the number of followers], but we spam requested like 150, so not too much,” the admin said.
What do students think of this? Well, the general consensus seems to be that the accounts are hilarious. But some are probably thinking twice about doing things that they might’ve otherwise done if it weren’t for these accounts.
“The bathroom feet one honestly makes me so scared to even use LAHS bathrooms at this point,” said @lahs.bad.posture’s admin.
“Honestly yeah, [I’m terrified], because I have terrible posture and I eat like an idiot,” said Los Altos sophomore Katie Skaggs.