An influencer has defended her decision to share a photo shoot of her motorcycle accident on Instagram, insisting she uses the social media platform "as a tool for healing and connecting with other humans."
Tiffanny, known on Instagram as @tifforelie, has been criticised for turning an accident into an impromptu photo shoot, with many questioning whether there was product placement involved.
Tiffany Mitchell, a lifestyle blogger based in Nashville, is being called out on Instagram for sharing a number of photos of her on the floor, following a motorcycle accident.
The blogger, who says she was left shaken and with minor scrapes from the scene, originally shared a series of 10 photos on Instagram, with a lengthy caption about what happened.
The photos show Tiffany with her white helmet off, being tended to by a man on the side of the road, presumably after the accident. In some photos his motorbike is behind them, while in others bottle of Smartwater and a resusable water bottle are placed by her face.
In the original caption, Tiffany wrote: "I misjudged a curve, took it too fast and my bike went off the road. It slid through the grass and I hit the pavement. I had my helmet on so my head was fine, but I scraped up my left side. I was in absolute shock laying on the side of the road. Scroll through the pics to see how much of it Lindsey captured!"
Many readers in the comments criticised Tiffany's decision to post the photo series, calling her out for insensitivity and inappropriateness. Others questioned whether the post was actually a #ad with Smartwater.
Twitter users, meanwhile, also speculated about whether Tiffany had fallen off her bike at all, due to the fact it could be deemed unsafe to take your helmet off after an accident, and pointing out the lack of road burns.
In response, Tiffany took to Instagram Stories to defend herself. "I got a lot of negative photos questioning why I'd take photos during an accident, and why I was glamourising an accident," she told her 216k followers. "There was no brand work being done at all. My friend Lindsey documents everything... No photos were taken until everyone knew I was OK. I didn't know that Lindsey was taking photos. The water could have been any brand - the water was brought to me because I was laying there."
She went on to insist she "absolutely" had her helmet, motorcycling boots and trousers on, and that the whole experience was a "blur".
"When [Lindsey] showed me the photos, I was so grateful for them. Having a moment that was that intense documented, I appreciate that. And a lot of other people [appreciate them]. That's why I shared them."
I’ve been figuring out how to respond to everything that’s unfolded recently regarding the post I shared 3 weeks ago about my moto accident. I won’t get into that post here (see my Moto Accident story highlight for all the details), but I want to talk about the reactions I’ve been getting to the article @buzzfeednews posted sensationalizing what I went through that day, and making a mockery of the post I shared. As a result, I’ve been accused of staging the accident to get attention, using it as a product placement opportunity with a water company, and other things I can’t even wrap my head around. I’ve been sharing real life stories here since I started my account. I’ve opened up about miscarriage, divorce, anxiety, losing my partner in a moto accident 3 years ago, and navigating the grief that followed. I’ve chosen to use Instagram as a tool for healing and connecting with other humans who may be going through similar things so we can do it together. And it’s been beautiful. When I work with brands, they’re ones I personally enjoy, and I disclose every single sponsorship. Accusing someone of faking or exploiting an accident is extremely serious—because what if you’re wrong? It really happened to me, and I was scared. I really was injured and had to recover. I was in shock laying on the side of the road, having flashbacks to when I lost someone very important to me. Friends were by my side, strangers called an ambulance, waited while I was checked out and then gave me a ride home. When I found out my professional photographer friend who I’d been shooting with earlier took photos of everything, I was completely moved. I shared this on my feed with humans who have been on a journey with me for years because I knew they would understand what it meant to me and I understood what it would mean to them. I’m sad that something so true and personal has been treated this way, and disappointed in BuzzFeed for spinning it there. I would just ask that if you’re here because of this, consider that the post I made was something real that happened in my life that resonated deeply with me and those who have chosen to follow me. That’s what it was intended for. 💛🌾
A post shared by Tiffany / 👻 tifforelie (@tifforelie) on Aug 20, 2019 at 4:06pm PDT
Tiffanny insists nothing about the photos were sponsorship, and went on to share another Instagram post to add that "I’m sad that something so true and personal has been treated this way."
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