Pitch Letter: But First Let Me Take a Selfie

To My Prospective Publisher:

I’m Carly Skinder, a 21 year old navigating my way with my fellow millennials.

“But First Let Me Take a Selfie.”

Let’s face it – it’s the world we live in – a self-consumed, self-obsessed world. We are the millennial generation, the tech geeks, the social savvies, the gadget gurus. We constantly present a curated self, a filtered self on Instagram, an edited self on Facebook. What is your #unfiltered face? Do you even know? Is there such thing as authenticity in this age of selfies?

I leave the answer to that question up to my peers, the target of my research, and the most skilled curators. I will provide the platform to explore this question and we –my millennial peers and I – will unlock awareness.

This is the way. I will create a multimedia piece that will live on, only fittingly, the web. The site will house the three components of my project: the interview video-collage, the selfie collage, and a personal reflection. I will interview my peers, asking questions about their identity and ways in which they identify themselves. With their feedback, I will explore authenticity and identity construction by producing a video-collage of the culminated interviews. The video collage will be a visual narrative of individual self-reflection on a large scale. I will also ask each participant to take a selfie. I will accumulate all selfies into a selfie collage, which will be both a funny representation of our selves and also a medium to spark conversation. Does the selfie, and do social networking sites conceal authentic identity? I will reflect on this experience in a process reflection where I will situate my findings in the context of existing theories of self-identity construction.

This research is relevant. This research might be alarming. This research will be evocative. We are a generation of smarties and know-it-alls, so we must also be self-aware and introspective. We must ground ourselves in honesty and humility. We must not be distracted by superfluities. I’m guilty of editing and curating myself, but I am also self-aware and introspective. And because of this fact, I believe authenticity exists. Do you? Help me find out.

I think I’ve landed on a real insight here. I hope you’re as excited as I am to explore the results.


Carly Skinder


A sample of my work:

Part of the excitement of this project is that it gets personal. I will ask intimate questions during each interview in order to access the most truthful information about each participant, their identity, and ways in which they identify. I will then ask participants to take a selfie. Ultimately, the information generated from the interview video and the selfie collage will create a visual story. When the selfies are placed alongside one another, we will be able to generate larger conclusions as to self-identity and constructions of the self. For example, words that would be associated with my personal selfie are:

Honest. Sensitive. Extrovert.

Opinionated. Confident. Sister.

I will use the content from the video interviews in order to generate a set of attributes that are unique to each self-ie.

2 thoughts to “Pitch Letter: But First Let Me Take a Selfie”

  1. This is the first time I’ve heard your project topic and it seems awesome! If I was your publisher I would definitely be interested after reading this pitch letter. Have you thought about how you will spread the word/reach out to people for interviews? I think a huge part of the project’s success will come from having a diversity of voices. Good luck!!

    1. Good thought Jamie! Thanks for your feedback. I was thinking I’d just sample random U of M students…from class, in the diag etc. A huge component of this research is that I have face-time with people so that I can do the videoed interview…so that’s why I don’t necessarily want to mass-post a survey to Facebook. Make sense? Any other ideas as to how I can gather a diverse group of students?

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