Le Selfie

posted on: 2.19.2015

Oh the infamous selfie. Was it us Millennials that created this phenomenon? Obviously it existed in some form or another before our time. I found proof over the weekend when my Mother and I sorted through an old box of photos. There in the depths of a dusty container, a film selfie of my Dad, caught you Pops! However, this version did not carry the same connotation as it's contemporary counterpart. I looked at my Dad's self induced photograph from the early 90s and found it to be charming, sweet even. No the photo didn't read, "Hey family, here's a really good looking picture of me. So good that I am going to share it with not only you, but my friends too!" In fact, those thoughts could not have crossed his brain seeing as film did not allow for immediate review, and if need be exposure adjustment. No he was just being silly, and so the photo was discovered years later by his grown daughter at the bottom of a dirty box.

While film was expensive and digital photography non-existent, formal self portraits were quite prevalent. I recall my Grandmother acting out old habits by gifting me her Glamour shots, something she had practiced with black and white photos for so many years. I cherish these photos now. Heck, the tradition continued when Star Shots took hold of our tweenhood. With our best friends we stood in front of a faded blue cloth while a photographer captured our stone cold faces and filtered our skin through a soft focus lens, deleting any non-existent age imperfections. Once the prints were completed those photos were distributed to family, friends, and even crushes. The sentiment read, "...here's a really good looking picture of me." So then why is the smart phone selfie such a provocative subject?

The difference in today's selfie versus versions past is that now your personality can be called into question instead of your looks alone. Are you the habitual selfier, taking photos of your self on good days and bad, because why the hell not? Does taking a selfie horrify you so much that you'd rather eat a frog than be caught with your arms out and that camera screen flipped, let alone posting it?! I suppose I find myself somewhere in the middle. I have posted no more than 10 selfies (not including those with other individuals) in my social media career, that is until now, yet if you search through my phone you will find an array of unpublished smart phone self portraits. Busted.

To avoid writing one thousand words on the topic I suppose I should come to some sort of conclusion. Since this is not a formal essay, I refuse to address Snapchat in any serious form as that app and its fleeting nature only complicates the question. In a way each and everyone of us carries a level of self importance. The modern day selfie should rightfully remain a controversial social behavior as it offers us a glimpse into the confidence of each individual. Perhaps the most timid person you know just posted a selfie in their bathing suit, and now you have just discovered this person is a little more sure of themselves than you thought. When scanning Tinder, or sites alike, perhaps you favor individuals who are seemingly more humble (emphasis on the seemingly), and thus only approve of those who exhibit candid portraits. Maybe the best selfie practices are the ones you find most accepting. You know, treat others how you want to be treated? Judge selfie practices as you want yours to be judged. Yes, that is a incredibly weak conclusion and have clearly I have failed to create a fine tuned thesis, this is just a blog post after all. So instead I would like to open the discussion up to my fellow bloggers. I would consider us a breed a bit more fearless when it comes to social media engagement, so tell me girls (and guys): why is the selfie such a provocative subject? Are there limits to this action? Does one's selfie habits truly reflect the individual? And if so should they be judged by their practices?

10 comments:

  1. I personally am not a fan of selfie but I had to do it for the sake of blogging. I do take some now in order to show how the product looks on me but on day to day normal life, hell no way I'll be posing to take a picture of me and posting it for public to see.

    I personally think it's a trend that encourage narcissism in the society but that's my opinion alone.
    :-)

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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  2. Hahahah I really loved this post. I think selfies are definitely a millennial thing, but to be honest I never made a habit out of it. I think it's the very epitome of vanity... but then again, perhaps I'm so vain that I don't want others to *think* I'm vain, so I don't take selfies. Whatever.

    All that to say, I'm with you on the narcissism. I'm actually hoping to write a blog post about how blogging, on the other hand, does not have to be a daily exercise in narcissism. Haha. We'll see!

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  3. How funny! I can't believe you found an old selfie of your dad at the bottom of a box! That's just so cute! I'm the worst at taking selfies!!! I think my forehead it too big or something hahahaha!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

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  4. I need to hunt for selfies of my parents now:) I am not "selfie photogenic" in any way hah

    xx Cara
    www.carascliche.com

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  5. Yep. I'm horrible at taking selfies. I only take them when a lot of wine is involved (and then I live to regret it). But, I do admire those fearless selfie takers. I say, more power to you!

    www.taffetaandtulips.com

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  6. I love these! I'm so bad about taking selfies lol
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

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  7. I think I've tried a couple times- but it's no Bueno. I need a nice far away shot;)

    www.hollandsreverie.blogspot.com

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  8. I used to take selfies with friends with the self-timer before digital cameras existed. With social media these days, it's sharing an intimate part of ourselves but it shouldn't be taken too seriously either.

    www.LUXESSED.com

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  9. Great post! I take a few selfies here and there especially on a good day but those good days don't come too often because it's just a hassle to look pretty all the time haha! But I agree that it's a controversial topic. A few selfies here and there are fine to me but I see how people get annoyed when selfies are posted from the same individual every single day. I usually just scroll through them!

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  10. This is so perfect. We have a tendency to take too many selfies, just for fun, and then post none of them. But we love when people say this is the age of the selfie, because it's clearly been going on forever, we just have easier access to the photos now. Loved reading your opinion!!

    xx 365Hangers

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