haley mcquinson

Who is Hayley McQuinson?

Haley McQuinson is a 23-year-old graduate of Drexel University. While at Drexel, she majored in fashion merchandising & marketing and has recently found a career home at J.Crew as a trend-broadcaster. Prior to Drexel, Haley grew up in the small suburban-town of Ambler, Pennsylvania. She attended Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School in her adolescence. The all-girls Catholic school taught her the value of being an independent woman of God. She was valedictorian of her class, was an annual Honor Roll Student, voted Prom Queen, and was voted “Most Infectious Laugh” in her graduating yearbook. Haley participated in activities such as field hockey, art club, and GMA TV and was the spokes girl for Mercy Girls Charity.

Haley continued to college with five of her Mercy sisters and is an enthusiastic member of the Alumni group and donor list. In her contemporary, Haley finds time to vacation with her best friends (three of which are from Gwynedd, all from Drexel) and participate in Mercy Missions, traveling to Central America at least once a year to build homes for the less-fortunate peoples of these dangerous nations. She has become a fiery vlogger on social media platforms such as Instagram and Youtube documenting the trials and tribulations in embracing real womanhood.   

Free from the social constraints of being “the Black friend” and “the Mexican friend”, Haley is able to thrive. She isn’t shy and is a hard worker. She is very social, and she has achieved a notable level of popularity amongst academic peers. She is not troubled with family drama, racial microaggressions, or the closeted fear of being queer. Haley’s contemporary activist life finds strength in advocating for #NOCOLOR, #AllLivesMatter, and #ProLife. In this political climate, she firmly backs her president and feels as though he has the fullest heart for all peoples of this free nation. 

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haleyhischool grad
haleyhischool grad

Hayley's High School Graduation Headshot

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hayleygraduationdocumentation

Installation at ACRE Projects Gallery

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haleygrad2

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haleyhischool grad
haleyhischool grad

Hayley's High School Graduation Headshot

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Hayley mcquinson's 2014 High school graduation recreation

The Breakdown

Haley McQuinson is the embodiment of my high school alter-ego all grown-up. As a digital performative representation, she embraces the girl I needed to be and the woman I desperately wanted to become. Haley is a critique of white-washed suburban culture, of the upper-middle class, of white feminism and womanhood, and of active black, brown, and queer erasure. Ultimately, Haley represents the performativity that is essential to safety and security for every non-conforming person existing in a dominant white space.

            Haley exists primarily in the digital world in order to create an ongoing intangible presence paralleling her existence in my former self. Her vlogs are platformed on social media outlets allow for the insight and validation I was looking to access via visual and cultural representation. This allows viewers to see the stark contrast between myself and Haley. Haley also exists in the tangible world through installation of her most valued objects. These objects are important because they allow for mobility and understanding through a more personal perspective.