Essena O’Neill: A Construct of Reality

by Kaitlyn Melo

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The rise of social media platforms has created a new form of celebrities – the microcelebrity. ‘Average’ people now have the opportunity to create a name for themselves within different communities. However, the “reality” that is portrayed on their social media platforms can be misleading to fans and followers. This exhibit examines the case study of Essena O’Neill – a former Instagram model with 500,000 followers – who used her large platform to show her followers that the lives portrayed on social media are not always as glamorous as they may appear. What does the life of an Instagram celebrity really like? What happens after the shot is taken? Is it all as glamorous as it appears on their social media feeds? Essena O’Neill: A Construct of Reality reveals the truths of microcelebrity status and demonstrates how photo manipulation and editing allows any social media user to create their own personal Construct of Reality.

For maximum reach and impact, this exhibit will be displayed at high school campuses throughout the United States.

 

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