Shay Mitchell recently took a trip to Shanghai, China and graced her 19.1 million followers with numerous pictures on her Instagram feed and stories — some so enviable that it seemed like they couldn’t be real.
So unreal that the photos appeared not to be her own. What raised suspicion of the authenticity was when StyleCaster noticed a photo she posted of the Monster Building in Hong Kong to her story had a mouse cursor hidden in the corner, signifying that it wasn’t an original.
A reverse image search then led to the image on the right, which appears to be an expanded original photo from the Canon travel blog.
Maybe she took a screenshot from a friends’ Facebook page, which would explain the cursor. It’s a reach, sure, but still a possibility.
Mitchell also posted a photo of these pastel colored buildings captioned, “When buildings inspire your next nail polish change.”
Upon further investigation it turns out this photo was taken in 2014…in Tokyo, Japan…by photographer Jan Vranovsky.
Maybe she has a secret partnership deal with Vranovsky, which would explain the use of a travel blog post from another city? Or maybe she really just had a random need to change her nail color inspired by a separate trip to China? Mitchell does love to travel.
Next, her followers noticed when she first arrived to Shanghai she posted this photo of the Jing'an Temple:
…Which looks a lot like this photo from Instagram account @shanghainowandthen:
It's hard to explain this one away; the photo is from two years earlier and features the same tourists and same outfits.
Maybe she dropped her phone in a river by accident and didn’t get a chance to back up all her photos, so she decided she would borrow pictures from other Instagram accounts.
And lastly, fans noticed the image of a vibrant and detailed entrance, which appears to have been originally on the tourism site Isango!:
She did however edit this caption to include credits to Pinterest.
Maybe she looked to those profiles for inspiration so precise that she wanted to replicate them. C’mon, don’t act like you haven’t looked at successful photos of a trendy restaurant you were going to and took the exact same photo.
In the end, she appears to own up to it with grace.