-50 degree temperatures didn't stop some social media influencers from posing outside in the record-breaking weather
Temperatures may have reached -50 degrees in the Midwest, but that didn’t stop influencers and style bloggers from doing whatever they could to get the ‘gram — including posing outside in swimsuits and barely there outfits — during the record-breaking polar vortex.
In between all photos of frozen rivers and water freezing in the air that flooded Instagram this week, influencers disrupted that usual winter wonderland coverage with pics posing in itty-bitty outfits in dangerously low temperatures.
The freezing temperatures hit the Midwest, Dakotas and Northeast regions and was so cold that it was possible to get frost bite within just 2 minutes of stepping outside into the -50 degree air.
But even that didn’t stop some social media users from wearing swimsuits or ditching their coats for their #OOTD pics.
One influencer, Bryn, posed in a bodysuit (sans pants) with a light moto jacket on a -50 degree day in Chicago.
Bryn tells PEOPLE that she and photographer Whitney H. were already scheduled to shoot in studio, but decided to switch up the location last-minute. “The outdoor portion of our shoot was spontaneous. Whitney and myself were scheduled to shoot indoors that day. It wasn’t until visualizing how breathtaking the rooftop balcony appeared overlooking Chicago’s Skyline that we deemed embarking into the elements ‘worth it.'”
She adds: “The goal was not intended to be portrayed as any type of windchill rebellion. My reason for publishing the photo to my Instagram was the same as for anything else. It tied in with current events and it was an opportunity to make a gloomy situation lighthearted.”
Another influencer, Ashley Siech, was “straight chillin'” on the -24° day in Chicago in a plunging black one-piece.
Style blogger Whitney Buha took her workout gear outside on Thursday in Chicago, showing off her printed leggings and sports bra from Stronger.
She captioned her photo: “Pretending to not be freezing while taking a shirtless picture in snow 😛 gotta do it for this amazing Roar set from @stronger, which dropped today!!!”
And the blogger behind the Instagram account @classroom.couture went coat-less in a pic outside in Chicago wearing a printed dress with black tights, booties and maroon jacket.
While the modeling conditions were extreme, Bryn also tells PEOPLE that she took precaution during the shoot and made sure the entrance to get back indoors was only 2 feet away. “Being mindful and aware of the five minute alarm on frostbite, our strategy allowed for just over two minutes per shot followed by a five minute break indoors to keep warm. We also had blankets on standby that I would throw on and off during shot setup, common practice for most cold weather shoots.”
The freezing temperatures claimed at least 21 lives since the beginning of this week. The New York Times reported that dozens of people have been hospitalized across the country for symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite.
According to the National Weather Service, frost bite can set in with a wind chill of -20 degrees in just 30 minutes. When winds blow at 50 miles per hour when it’s -50 degrees outside, it can cause frost bite in 2 minutes.
The condition causes a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes or the tip of the nose.
After reaching a 99-year record low, temperatures are expected to hit spring-like numbers over the weekend. Detroit is expected to reach 45 degrees on Sunday and 50 degrees Monday, while Chicago is expected to be 52 degrees by Monday.