Travel influencers forced to defend Instagram stunt after being branded 'irresponsible'
A travel influencer couple has incited a furore on social media after sharing a photo which their fans have deemed as dangerous and irresponsible.
Kody Workman and Kelly Castille - who run the Instagram account Positravelty, which boasts 62,000 followers - took to Instagram earlier this month to post a snap which shows Kelly dangling over the edge of an infinity pool in Ubud, Bali, while Kody supports her by gripping onto her arms.
The backlash was swift. "I feel like these ‘influencers’ are influencing people to risk their lives for a dangerous photo," wrote one social media user, while another corroborated "It really makes me angry when people think safety is way too easy or boring."
"Dumbest thing I’ve seen today. Imagine if she fell, all for the sake of a little internet fame," a third wrote.
"You know, other people are gonna start dangling themselves from infinity pools and dangerous like this also to get a shot like this," warned another. "Way to set an example."
However, the couple were quick to defend themselves.
"Ur greatest strength in life, our most important principle, is discernment. Only you can know your body, feel the space around you and understand your capabilities. We would all do well to remember this, knowing that not every action, style or path we witness through others is or should be, replicated. At the end of the day we are to hold ourselves accountable for the decisions that we make," they wrote on Instagram.
Kody also spoke to Insider, and explained that they are aware of their capabilities, and had assessed the height of the pool before carrying out the stunt.
"What is probably most surprising to any audience is that this photo was actually Kelly's idea. We are both in good shape, we know our bodies and in turn, we know our limits. We had faith in each other and trust to pull this off and so we made the choice as a team to shoot it," he told the publication.
"There is a lip, where the ridge of the infinity pool juts out over the wall where Kelly could get a solid grip and place her weight on her forearms. I held her the entire time and if zoomed you can actually see my grip on her arm.
We have both jumped off of waterfalls and bridges much higher than this infinity pool so the height aspect wasn't a concern for us at all."
"I had a good hold and Kody also had a good hold on me," Kelly added.
Other Instagram users pointed out that the infinity pool was suspended over another pool, so Kelly wasn't actually dangling over an empty void.
Back in October, research found that there had been 259 documented deaths worldwide from taking selfies, since 2011.