When I follow celebrities on Instagram, it's not because I think we're friends. I don't labor under any illusions that they'll follow me back, I don't try to get their attention in the comments — I barely even like their photos. To me, celebrities exist on Instagram the same way they do on my TV: as entertainment. For DiaryOfAFitMommyOfficial, however, celebrity Instagrams have an entirely different purpose.
While you may not know Sia Cooper, you've definitely seen her Instagram handle before. I first noticed the name DiaryOfAFitMommyOfficial popping up in the comments of Instagrams for celebrities like the Kardashians and Chrissy Teigen a few months ago. Instagram's latest algorithm pulls out two comments that appear under Instagram posts without the user specifically requesting to look at comments. (This feature is seemingly based on the commenter's number of followers and verification status, although Instagram didn't respond to our request for comment on the specifics.) Over the past few months, people noticed that DiaryOfAFitMommyOfficial showed up a lot.
Her comments were so prevalent that, for a long time, I thought she was actually friends with these celebrities. But no. DiaryOfAFitMommyOfficial is Sia Cooper — a fitness blogger and mother who boasts one million Instagram followers of her own for her work as a personal trainer with the specific goal of helping moms stay in shape. Recently, however, she's gained just as much attention for her consistent and persistent comments on popular Instagram accounts, even getting her own segment on pop culture podcast Who? Weekly.
The comments aren't anything out of the ordinary. On a recent Kim Kardashian post featuring a selfie of her with friends, Cooper commented "Beautiful ladies!" On a selfie posted by Emily Ratajkowski, she commented "Babe." A recent post by Kylie Jenner got a "Dayummmm." While these may appear innocuous, and perhaps a little pointless, it's possible Cooper has unlocked the secret to thriving on an Instagram whose algorithm has put a lot of other influencers at a disadvantage. In the past two months alone, she's gained over 70,000 followers, and these comments might be her competitive edge.
We spoke to Cooper via email about her infamous Instagram comments, and how she's used them to take over the platform in a way few other influencers have yet to figure out.
How long have you had your Instagram account, and did you start off as a public figure?
"I've had my Instagram account since 2011 or 2012, and it started off as a small personal account that I didn’t do much with. It wasn’t until I created Diary of a Fit Mommy and started gaining notoriety that I began identifying as a public figure."
Have you always commented frequently on public figures’ Instagram accounts? Why?
"Yes, always. It’s a fun way to connect with them, and now it is even better due to Instagram’s new algorithm with highlighting verified accounts’ comments first. I’ve had interaction back with celebs such as Khloé Kardashian and Nicki Minaj. Instagram gives us a direct line of communication to our favorite personalities whereas we didn’t have this several years ago. It’s so cool!"
When Instagram began “sticking” specific comments to the bottom of posts, did you notice yours were there often? What did you attribute this to?
"I did notice mine were featured quite often amongst a few other accounts. I believe the fact that my account is verified with over a million followers helps. My comment stays highlighted until the next verified account with a substantial amount of followers comments after me."
Did you notice any change in the number of your own followers once your posts started sticking?
"Absolutely! I’ve noticed about 70,000+ new followers in a mere two months alone."
Since you know that your comments have possibly brought you a large number of followers, is that your main reason for commenting?
"[No.] I love the Kardashians, Jenners and so many others just like everyone else. It's fun to follow these people. I think most people are aware, especially those of us making a living via social media, that more people are likely to see your comments on high traffic accounts. That's always been the case, even before the algorithm change. Have I noticed an uptick in new followers since the algorithm change? Yes. Are new followers also good for my business and growing my Fit Mommy community? Yes to that too. But am I supposed to stop commenting on posts just like everyone else because my comments are highlighted due to the new algorithm? I don't think that's fair."
Has the backlash you've received recently made you want to stop commenting or using Instagram?
"I've felt bullied into the need not to comment on other posts, [but] I have to do what is best for me and for my business at the same time. The issue is with the sticky post format, and shouldn't be with me. I've thought a lot about this. The hate I receive is upsetting but underwhelming compared to the support I get and the amazing followers I've picked up who become part of my community – where I do my best to inspire, keep it real, and provide useful content."
Why do you think your comments get people upset?
"People seem to look for 'ins' with popular accounts and certain celebrities. They assume that I know these people. I've had people say that they wouldn't mind seeing my comments and would also follow me if I was personal friends with these celebs. Because I am a fan and not a direct connection, that frustrates them. It's kind of like, I'll hang out with you... but only if you can get me into this club."
I get bullied and harassed on a daily basis because I choose to comment on Instagram. Now I’m finally hitting back at the haters in my newest blog post at diaryofafitmommy.com/blog I get called fat, ugly, annoying, stupid, and a bad mom because I comment and interact with my favorite pages to follow. The hate that I get is so insane and hypocritical because they do the exact same. I’ve even had comments from people saying to “KYS” which stands for “kill your self” and messages saying they were going to kill my children. There was another school shooting today and I wonder why..the shooter reportedly was bullied much like this. First of all, instagram (social media) is my full time job. It’s how I connect with clients and gain new followers. It may look like I’m on here 24/7 because I have my notifications turned on. Also my kids are taken care of 😘 Let me ask you this.. if you know I’m everywhere doesn’t that mean you’re everywhere too? 🤔 Honestly. But the person whom you should really be upset with is this new Instagram algorithm. They choose to highlight my comments, but this is how I always commented. 🤷🏽♀️ Nothing new here folks. I make $500,000 a year and I am able to support my family of 4 so I’m happy to be here. Even when haters are trying their best to phase me. I’m so thankful for @instagram and this page of mine. It’s taken me to so many places and I’ve met so many amazing people! And I don’t care what anyone says, I’ve got the BEST followers in the world! 💜 I’m constantly bombarded with messages and comments from haters asking me to block them but little do they know, they’ll still see my comments regardless if they block me or I block them. I won’t be stopping anytime soon so you can either do one of the following: 1. Read my newest blog post and try to understand where I’m coming from. 2. Stop getting so triggered and simply scroll past my comments if you see them. 3. Keep hating and be a miserable presence. The choice is yours. It’s a beautiful life and at the end of the day there are more important things to be concerned with ☺️
In your recent post about the hate you've received, you compared your situation to the recent school shooting. Is there anything you'd like to clarify about that post?
"When I posted that, I'd just read of slew of cruel, nasty, and frankly scary comments. It's weird how some people's natural response is 'wait, I don't know this person, so I don't like them and the fact that I'm seeing their post.' Imagine a world where dislike wasn't the reaction to unfamiliarity. At the same time I was reading all of those nasty posts, we got news of yet another mass shooting.
I'm not comparing what I'm going through to what happened in Santa Fe or any of these other awful tragedies. The 'someone was mean to me/girl turned me down so I'm going to go shoot up a school' scenario is a pathetic and devastating response to social adversity. It's not a comparison I am really trying to make. All I really intended to say is that we seem to live in a culture of mean. It's awful how we treat one another. In a climate where there is so much negativity, we all would do much better to be kind to one another. I find it odd that some people take the time to tap away negative, hateful stuff... and yes, it is scary when someone threatens to come find your kids and harm them simply because you said something nice to a celebrity. We want to stop senseless tragedies from happening, but some people can't even handle coming across a social media comment. That worries and saddens me."