Let’s face it. Since the invention of the front-facing camera, we’ve all been fearfully curious about what we look like on screen. Whether we use it for a mirror to find that pesky eyelash scraping our cornea or turn on the camera unaware we left on the front-facing setting, we are are eventually faced with seeing the technological by-product of our face on a screen. It can be scary.
A few weeks back, I read an article in the New York Times about the selfie movement and its reputation for being aligned with narcissism. The sheer fact that my word processor didn’t underline the term “selfie” in red as a misspelled word is evidence enough that this trend is here to stay. Although the writer of the article raises some valid arguments about a human’s innate need to be secure with how they are viewed, I can’t help but remain a little skeptical. Sure, I have participated in the selfie thing on occasion in my past (before the term was even coined), playing with photo booth programs, melancholy filters and distorted lenses, so I can’t very well point the finger. Being a former selfie-taker, though, I read this article with a tinge of judgement in my opinion.
Granted, humans do respond to faces. The rampant evolution of video chatting programs has supported this theory, one with which I agree whole-heartedly, but then, the writer of the article goes on to address this issue alongside solo photo shoots. Somehow I can’t jump on board with the idea that blurry bathroom photos are in the same league as Skyping a loved one in Asia. After I finished reading the article, and after much back-and-forth consideration, I’ve developed my platform on selfies.
Ready? Here it is.
If you are in Paris alone on a backpacking adventure of a lifetime and want to record your your journey with the Eiffel Tower in the background, by all means, take that selfie. If you got a kick-ass new haircut after decades of a plain-jane rut and want to show your friends as you’re leaving the salon, take that selfie. If you’re getting a tattoo they said your straight laces would never get, take that selfie. I am a fan of seeing selfies if they’re a landmark in someones life, especially when I know, at that moment, no has a better vision of how to compose a picture denoting such elation as the photographed themselves. That’s when I’m intrigued by the idea of the photographed and the photographer becoming one. That being said, there is a subtlety to selfie postings which we often disregard, a subtlety which gives the photo a sort of attitude, a subtlety on which I build my platform.
I don’t mind the selfie, but I do mind the caption. And these are the types which make me chuckle and cringe simultaneously…
This goes out to all my haters #yolo (That one comment 4 months ago where someone made fun of your duck face does not constitute a league of haters.)
Sitting in bed looking ratchet this morning #nofilter (But you actually think you look good or else you wouldn’t have posted the picture, right?)
Kicking ass and taking names at the gym! #fitness #nutrition #bodybuilding (The person waiting for you to stop taking selfies on the chest press machine begs to differ.)