The ‘Selfie’

In recent years the concept of the ‘selfie’ has emerged all guns blazing. Think back to last year’s Academy Awards ceremony, remember this famous celeb-filled selfie?

It would be hard to not to remember the fuss this (may I mention, poorly taken) photo kicked up. Twitter went into a frenzy after Ellen tweeted it, as well as various online gossip sites and even some newspapers. Well perhaps it’s obvious why this particular selfie gained so much attention…11 famous faces all gathered around one camera, (12 if you count Lupita Nyongo’s brother), is destined to create a frenzy of ‘OMGs’ and ‘rip me!!!’.

My real question comes when we look at your bog standard, regular joe, run of the mill selfie; what do we find so fascinating? I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to taking them, despite my past refusal to actually use the word ‘selfie’. There seems to be a great deal of stigma surrounding women in particular participating in this trend. Most recently this came to my attention at the news of Kim Kardashian’s new book ‘Selfish’, containing approximately 352 selfies! Now sure not all of us are about to publish a book with 150 pages packed front to back with our faces but the point still remains. Why are so many attacking the seemingly innocent act of the ‘selfie’?

I myself have nearly 900 photos on Instagram, and I’m sure a large percentage of them are in fact self-portraits, but does that make me vain? This seems to be the key issue. Women are being labelled as vain and self-indulgent for photographing themselves and I want to know why this is. For years women have been depicted as the vision of beauty, being used as an advertisement tool and often objectified by men just to sell more cans of beer. So apparently the problem only comes when we feel good enough about ourselves to record it photographically – because that’s all it really is. A selfie is merely someone thinking “Hey, I look good today, let’s share that with my family and friends!”. Surely it’s a positive thing to see so many young women and men gaining body confidence, especially when low self-esteem is so common due to various media heightening our expectations of beauty.

Naturally self-love can run the risk of straying to vanity, but for the most part I strongly believe selfies should be encouraged. Seems to me that people need reminding that confidence is a desirable quality and ought to be treasured.

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