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“I do it to make people laugh”: Instagram comedian reveals how many wines go into the making of her spoof pictures

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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Over the last year, Australian comedian Celeste Barber has been taking Instagram by storm with her tongue-in-cheek spoofs of the picture perfect lives of the rich and famous. Here, stylist.co.uk writer Sarah Biddlecombe meets the hit Instagram comedian to discover the secrets behind her laugh-out-loud snaps.

Anyone who has an Instagram account will be familiar with the art of surreal celebrity shots, whether that's Bella Hadid hoovering her bookshelf while wearing a tracksuit and heels, or Candice Swanepoel posing behind an antique saucepan. 

And no one knows more about the increasingly weird and wonderful world of celebrity Instagram snaps than Celeste Barber, an Australian comedian who has spent the last year perfectly spoofing the oh-so-serious snaps taken by our favourite stars.

Although the spoof photos started out as a joke between her and her sister, Barber has struck a chord with millions of people on Instagram, quickly amassing over 1.3 million followers (at the time of writing) keen to keep up with her #celestechallenges.

"I started doing it early last year, and then it went nuts," she told stylist.co.uk.

"There were so many posts of celebrities doing crazy stuff and acting as though it was just an everyday thing, so I thought I'd give it a go."

Finding celebrities to spoof has always been easy, as Barber’s fans are constantly sending her hilarious – and sometimes just plain odd – Instagram images for her to replicate.

The Kardashian Klan feature on her feed regularly, with Kim Kardashian’s more bizarre forays into fashion providing easy fodder for a Celeste challenge. From lying naked in a tub of silver paint to scaling a pile of debris while dressed in just underwear and high heeled boots, some of the reality star’s Instagram snaps are hilarious enough not to warrant a spoof, although Barber tackles the challenge with aplomb (below).

Other regular favourites include Miranda Kerr (“don’t you hate it when you have demanding friends?” Barber writes on a video of Kerr pouting in a mirror and asking if her bum looks big in her dress) and Nicki Minaj (“I seem to have lost my clothes. Again,” is the caption for a snap of Minaj lying down in her underwear).

She has also discovered some bizarre, yet recurring, themes in the world of celebrity Instagrams. There is a whole series of pictures of scantily clad stars, including Karlie Kloss and Paris Hilton, reclining, half naked, in sinks and empty baths.

Another trend sees famous faces perching on a baffling array of props, from Kylie Jenner mounting a child’s toy truck to Bella Hadid pretzel-ing herself onto a chest of drawers.

But while Barber is adept at turning her hand to even the trickiest of celeb poses (think Gigi Hadid doing acrobats over Zayn Malik in one of the ex-couple’s most 'liked' posts), she admits she has her boundaries. Specifically, an image of tennis pro Serena Williams doing the splits mid-air left her stumped.

“I think I failed at the Serena Williams one. She is unbelievable, so strong and has the most amazing body,” she said.

“I couldn’t even get my legs into the stools let alone hold my bodyweight in the splits. Respect Serena!”

Although Barber describes choosing her favourite of her Instagram spoofs as akin to “picking a favourite child”, she does have some highlights.

“If I HAD to choose, I would say Lenny Kravitz with the massive scarf (below), bent over bike lady and Kate Upton getting out of the pool,” she said.

“But shh, don’t tell the others.” 

Barber has even had “super nice” shoutouts from some of the celebrities she has spoofed, including Kris Jenner, Cindy Crawford and Ashton Kutcher.

And while any celebrity is fair game to the comedian, there is one woman she has vowed never to spoof: Michelle Obama.

“There isn’t really anyone I try to stay away from. Except Michelle Obama, because you know, it’s Michelle Obama, the most glorious woman alive.”

Alongside the crazy props and select few “extras” who feature in Barber’s spoofs, there is one other person who makes a regular guest appearance on her feed: her #hothusband.

Having imitated stars including Zayn Malik and Kanye West (we particularly love his take on Kanye’s tongue biting prowess, below), he also acts as one of Barber’s photographers.

“My hot husband likes to think he is the creative director of the whole ‘shoot’ so he takes a lot of the pictures,” Barber said. She added that her stepdaughter Kya gets “dragged into it a fair bit”, but that on the whole, her “girlfriends are the true Annie Leibovitz of #celestechallengeaccepted”.

And how long does it take to shoot each picture?

“Usually five minutes, depending on how many wines I’ve had and whether my hot husband is around”.

Barber has no plans of stopping her spoofing, particularly if it might start making her a profit.

"I do it for the sweet, sweet cash," she joked.

"And to make people laugh, but ultimately the goal is heaps of money."

Celebrities – think twice before you pose with your head stuck in an arm chair (Bella Hadid) or a spoon over your eye (Kylie Jenner). You have been warned.