Proof That Winter Can Be Stunningly Beautiful

We're barely a month into real winter, and warmer days seem so far away. We've tried all of the usual tips to prevent the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and when those didn't work we tried a few unusual tips to prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder, and found most of those to be wanting, too. Our winter sex lives are struggling, the cold has made us give up on dating, and we're totally over trying to take advantage of cuffing season. Winter has also made us feel less beautiful and more seasonally chubby to boot.

You may be thinking that there's basically nothing good to like about this God-forsaken time of year when the temperatures plummet and the sun seems to disappear indefinitely, but it's important to look on the bright side. Optimism is good for your health as well as your sanity, and you'll be needing both if you want to come out on the other side of this drab wintry slog in one piece. That's where these stunning Instagram photos come in. You heard me — Instagram. Mostly shot in black and white, these images take advantage of winter's unique lighting, shadows, and exposure, and the results are so breathtakingly beautiful, you may just start to rethink how terrible this whole season can be. So find yourself something warm to drink, and feast your eyes, because these striking images make winter almost worth it.


This is Chicago? I was there last July. It was definitely much more sweltering and way less frozen at the time.


This was apparently taken in Manhattan, where I live, but honestly you could have fooled me. Usually the snow turns to dirty slush within about two seconds, but it looks absolutely pristine here.


When these icicles start falling, they'll become icy daggers. But for now, they're nature's glittery tree toppers.


OK, so there's not much that seems very inviting about this frozen body of water, but it is mesmerizing to look at.


There's so much perfectly-sticking snow in this landscape that you can hardly see the van plastered with an advertisement parked in the driveway.


A leisurely Central Park walk in the snow, how romantic! Unless these two are accidentally stuck on a boring first date that's too slippery to quickly escape.


See? You almost wish you were out by this frozen lake rather than inside your cozy apartment (almost).


Oh, winter. You're not so bad.


My dogs certainly hate the snow, but I'm thrilled to realize that some dogs apparently love it!


If this isn't the most breathtakingly filtered snowscape out on the Internet, I don't know what is.


Heck, even I can get into the spirit when winter provides such beautiful scenery. Here's the view from my old apartment on west 121st street.


OK maybe I spoke too soon. This filthy, Prius-sized urban ice floe has me once again wishing for spring.

Image: willemiszoo/Instagram