Selfie. It was The Oxford Dictionaries 2013 Word of the Year. Defined as self-portrait photographs, selfies have taken the internet by storm. Celebrities, models, middle schoolers, and pretty much everyone else have taken selfies. So why is everyone making a big deal of the new trend?
The New York Times, Jezebel and CNN have all had recent articles about selfies. People who take selfies are criticized for their motives. They are judged as attention cravers and self-absorbed.
Dove recently released a “Selfie” campaign. They made a short documentary following a few young women and their selfie endeavors. This documentary also focused on the young women’s mothers and their views on the selfie – it was interesting to see the opinion separating the generation gap.
The documentary ends with the women taking selfies and submitting them to an art show. Their photos were put on display for everyone who participated in the documentary to see – it was encouraging to see women being so supportive and positive of other women and their art.
There are so many people who have negative body perceptions of themselves. Our society has an unrealistic definition of beauty that somehow sucks people into believe they aren’t good enough and they never will be. Selfies are changing that state of mind. It’s time our definition of beauty has changed, and I think we are moving in the right direction.
In a world where everything and everyone is airbrushed, I find the selfie refreshing. Self-portraits have been around for decades; Frida Cahlo and Cindy Sherman are artists whose self-portraits are famous for their quirkiness and creativity. So what’s the difference with self-photography?
I am 100 percent guilty of taking selfies on numerous occasions. Usually my line of thinking is, “Dang, I look good. I need to capture this moment.” I would take them and just cherish them on my phone. I never felt inclined to share it with my friends, but one day I had a revelation – I want my selfie as my new Facebook profile picture. So I did it, and my computer didn’t burst into flames. My phone didn’t self-destruct. The world kept spinning. It was as if nothing had happened.
But something did happen. I felt good. I felt okay about posting a picture of myself on social media. I didn’t feel guilty. I didn’t hear any negativity – in fact, quite the opposite happened. I heard an overwhelming amount of positivity.
There is a trend within the selfie trend (inception, I know). The ugly selfie has taken over the selfie industry. While I find it most popular with my friends on Snapchat, it seems to be popular on other forms of social media. What is the goal of the ugly selfie? Take the ugliest picture you can of yourself and entertain your friends. Double chins, creepy smiles and crossed eyes are some of my favorite ugly face techniques. While it is entertaining, it might also create waves in society.
If people start posting ugly pictures of themselves on social media, it brings a new form of acceptance. It’s as if the selfie taker is saying “Hey, this is who I am and I want all of you to see!” It’s like a middle finger to all those people who airbrush and strive for beauty perfection. It’s absolutely liberating.
I’m a fan of the selfie trend. Selfies are liberating and empowering. Everyone is beautiful, and everyone should feel okay about taking selfies. You should want to share how you look with all your friends and family on social media. You should never feel ashamed for loving who you are and how you look.
So friends, I encourage you to selfie on. Take as many as you can. Take one when you’re on your way to the gym, take one after the gym, take one before you go out on a Friday night. No one can dictate what you post on your page, and no one has the right to shame you for your selfie.