Nashville Instagram influencer Tiffany Mitchell was recently in a motorcycle accident that left her with minor injuries, and she was pretty shaken up about the whole thing. Mitchell was wearing an orange tank top under light-wash denim overalls that day and, in the immediate aftermath of the crash, given a Smartwater to drink.
We know all this because Mitchell shared photos of herself lying in the middle of the road, snapped by her friend Lindsey just moments after the traumatic ordeal. One of the images even showed her being tended to by another friend with a large Smartwater bottle front and center.
Mitchell, who boasts 211,000 followers on her lifestyle page @tifforelie, has vehemently denied that any part of her post from two weeks ago was sponsored or staged. "People seemed concerned about the motives," Mitchell said in an Instagram story yesterday.
"Nothing about it was staged, nothing about it was sponsored," she claimed, adding that there was, "no brand work being done at all." ELLE.com has reached out to Smartwater for comment.
The original post—which Mitchell has since archived due to negative comments—contained a lengthy caption about the accident. On the way back to Nashville from Leipers Fork, Tennessee, Mitchell wrote, she "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! Unreal," she said. "I was scared, and relieved, and so thankful I could move all my joints and that I never lost consciousness. My friends were at my side immediately, an ambulance arrived within 10 minutes (CRAZY fast), and sweet strangers loaded my bike onto their trailer to haul it back to my house for me. I was in a haze the entire time."
Mitchell went on to say that the experience was especially traumatic after losing a friend in a motorcycle accident three years ago. She ended the post: "I am feeling so much better and guy, I am beyond grateful."
In the Instagram story, Mitchell clarified that, "no photos were taken until everyone knew I was okay."
"I was resting, that was when someone brought me the water," she added, "I was laying there processing everything. I didn't know Lindsey was taking photos, I wasn't even thinking about it."
Mitchell also addressed concerns from her followers that she was "glamorizing" the accident and that she wasn't wearing a helmet. "I absolutely had my helmet on," she said in the Instagram story. "I would never ride my bike without a helmet, pants and boots as well."
"The reason my helmet was not on in the photos," she said, "I had it completely on and I took it off after I knew my neck was okay, I took the helmet off. I was wearing it when I fell whee I was riding."
Buzzfeed's Tanya Chen, who first reported on Mitchell's photos, writes that the comments on the influencer's controversial post quickly "became mixed with more critical and cynical observations. For one, people were taken aback by the optics of taking, and then sharing, professional-grade photos of her actual accident."
According to Chen, her followers responded with comments like:
"Who DOESN'T take photos in the midst of a motorcycle crash, amirite? #smartwater #life. How are people commenting on this like it's normal? I feel like Elaine Benes screaming at everyone for eating Snickers with forks. "WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL OF YOU PEOPLE? HAVE YOU GONE MAD?"
“This must have been super scary and I’m glad you’re okay, but... if my friend continued to take photos while I was lying semi-unconscious in the road, I’d be furious. I love your photos but it’s a little weird to include those."
Still, Mitchell feels "grateful" for the photo shoot. "Having a moment that was that intense documented, I appreciate that, " she said in the Instagram story. "Not everyone has to, but I do... That's why I shared them."
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