For my final major project, I created Reel magazine. Reel aims to provide a clear space, guiding readers to self-alignment by following personal paths, tackling self-esteem issues, celebrating slower processes, life's little luxuries and exploring authenticity.
The first issue of Reel explores the story of performing arts students as their industry faces an uncertain future due to Covid-19. I set out to showcase real stories by taking my readers behind the scenes and capturing real moments in time. Reel was created as a response to social media's distorted version of reality leaving users to feel disheartened after constant comparison.
I attended London Fashion Week in 2020 where I was lucky enough to sit in on a talk by Stylist magazine's Georgia Holt and Billie Bhatia as they discussed the rise of comparison culture. Throughout their discussion Holt and Bhatia released many statistics outlining social media's role in users' low self-esteem as it can portray unrealistic expectations for young impressionable viewers. As I delved into this subject further, I found that many media outlets take part in filtering reality.
They often showcase the best bits of life, leaving viewers feeling unsatisfied with their own lives. I found the best way to fight comparison is to find self-alignment. Reel responds to this research by featuring interactive pages where readers can work on personal development. Setting personal goals without distractions from everyone else's achievements helps readers stay on their own path and reflect what is truly important to them.
Reel aims to confront comparison culture by exposing aspects of life once hidden. Investing in imperfection I slow the image making process by using disposable cameras to shoot content which removes the ability to pose or retake photos, thus showing life through a more realistic lens. I sourced individuals to collaborate with and sent out cameras, granting me access to multiple people's lives throughout strict lockdowns. I use household scanners to distort and challenge conventional magazine layout themes making the visual identity of Reel extremely unique. This distortion exaggerates social media's ability to change physical features and create seemingly perfect imagery. I counteract this by showing beauty in imperfection, creating imagery with spontaneous processes and little postproduction interference.