THE UN-INSTAGRAMABLE SELF
The Un-Instagramable Self is a book and social initiative that explores the hidden parts of identity and life as individuals self-narrate and contribute to visual culture in the digital age of Instagram. The concept was inspired by Tara Westover’s 2019 Northeastern Commencement Address, about the alienating experience of over identifying with the idealized self and the importance of embracing the un-edited self. Using narrative interviewing and applying Carl Jung’s Theory of Archetypes and Erving Goffman’s Dramaturgical Theory, it looks at how narrating elements of the un-Instagramable self can affect acceptance of self and others, and can impact visual culture. From 23 interviews, The Un-Instagramable Self book, social media presence, and website give a peak behind the curtain to the hidden side of individuals’ identities. It offers a collection of short stories and visuals to expand on concepts of self in the digital age, while appreciating all human experiences including the mundane, repressed, and underrepresented with the broader purpose of furthering notions of self-acceptance and inclusion in visual culture and society.
I first want to thank everyone who participated in the making of this book and project. Especially, my capstone instructor, Mic., for continuous support and encouragement. Sean and Chris for hours and hours of editing. And all of my interview participants for their incredible contributions, courage, and vulnerability.
I set out to start conversations about shared human experiences and work towards a greater acceptance and appreciation for self, others, and life. The project’s success and beauty demonstrates its potential to continue as an online community with more editions. We’ve only scratched the surface on the variety of identities and experiences in the world. As a designer, my dream is to continue to creatively tell stories that make the world a better place. Thank you, Ryerson School of Fashion, for giving me the tools to start on this path and into my next chapter.