who are you.

Research has shown that the more social networks a young adult uses, the more likely he or she is to report depression and anxiety.

The report, provided by #StatusofMind, states “Seeing friends constantly on holiday or enjoying nights out can make young people feel like they are missing out while others enjoy life. These feelings can promote a ‘compare and despair’ attitude.”

Social media is becoming more dangerous than the wonders of photoshop in magazines. We are being exposed and sold the idea that “ordinary people” are living lives far more perfect than our own. And worse, we are led to believe that it’s easy, and we should all do it too.

Who Are You is a work that is currently in progress. It is a critique on the effect that social media has on our expectations of reality. It is the idea that you have to stuff yourself into a mold in order to be successful, losing yourself along the way. Deciding that there are only a few parts of yourself that are acceptable for others to see. Limiting yourself because you’ve boxed yourself into an identity we call a “brand”.

Each set design takes on a selection of stereotypes that can often be found on social media. From a fashion influencer to a plant lover, I want people to be able to see what they begin to lose of themselves when they start to turn their personal lives into a business model.

currently unavailable


    work in progress



This was a project that I began to ideate before the pandemic hit, where I’d notice myself scrolling through instagram on my lunch breaks. I would catch myself, thinking as I’d scroll through influencers “if I posted everyday, I could do that. It’s just one post. It’s not that hard.” I would overlook the time it took to put everything together. The finances to purchase the props. The critiques and changes that happened along the way. The team that was there, but never seen. Because it was just one. One post every day. A number like that sounds easy. To convince myself it wasn’t...well, that was hard.

With the recent pandemic, this became all the more exacerbated. I found myself always on my phone, always scrolling through social media, looking for updates on people that I didn’t even know. And, when they did, I never felt good about it. I would be disappointed that I didn’t do something like that, even though “I know I could take that picture”. I chalked it up to will power, but it was so much more complex than that. The comparison that I started to make, between myself and someone else, and the inevitable disappointment or self degredation that followed was quickly wearing on my mental health.

I began this project by categorizing some of the most popular influencers, and what categories they could fall under. I knew addressing everyone was going to be too large of a task, but I still wanted to reach a variety of different people, so I decided to narrow my options down, hoping to end up with 4 photos.


After a bit of research, I realized that the best place to reach those on social media was...well, through social media. I was conflicted at first by the idea of using social media as a means of promotion against social media, however I came to realize that the hypocracy could be better utilized to support my message. I settled on instagram as my primary means of communication. It is an image heavy platform that would allow me to capture an audience’s attention through beautiful imagery and heavy metaphors. I want them to see and inquire before reading the message.

In order to broach the idea that all of the influencers are following the same overall model, I plan to create a very similar set design for each category. Color palettes and items will be switched out and exchanged for ones relevant to the category, but the composition will overall be the same. I want people to see how repetitive this “model for success” is, and how it’s this model that serves as the problem.


all work © Taylor Shipton unless otherwise noted.