A Nashville-based Instagram Influencer named Tiffany Mitchell has been accused of staging a photo shoot of a motorcycle accident she allegedly got into two weeks ago. The images have since been removed from her account, but in widely circulated screenshots, the caption reveals that she “misjudged a curve,” causing her bike to go “off the road,” slide “through the grass” and she hit the pavement, suffering minor scrapes. She also said her friend Lindsey was there and took photographs through the accident, which definitely do not look like an ad campaign for SmartWater whatsoever.
Totally normal photographs here!
My coworker Joan Summers thinks the images are staged because the depth of field—the water is in focus and Mitchell is not, which can only be achieved with manual aperture adjustments. Like, Lindsey was literally focusing on the product and not her friend grabbing her head in purportedly pain. That’s weird! I think it’s staged because this lady is not wearing the correct motorcycle riding attire (as the child of a motorcycle household, this offends me) but bulky leather probably doesn’t look so good on the ‘gram.
Naturally, commenters agree with us and have been vocalizing their skepticism. Mitchell told BuzzFeed, she “would never turn a very important personal story like this into a brand campaign. I’m sad that some people are taking it that way.”
So, is it fake? Is SmartWater attempting to one-up the viral Fiji Water Girl from the 2019 Golden Globes? For what it’s worth, I clocked that sponcon before Jamie Lee Curtis revealed the truth to the world, that the Fiji Water Girl was not a fun mishap but “blatant promotion,” and I see all the pieces of that, here, too. In a grossly oversaturated influencer market, surely Instagrammers, bloggers, and whomever else are willing to become more and more egregious to stand out. While this is kind of gross, it’s also pretty funny, and I only hope it fails to embolden others from doing similar stunts. At the very least, you don’t have to follow her.