posted on: 2.19.2015
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individuals) in my social media career, that is until now, yet if you search through my phone you will find an array of unpublished smart phone self portraits.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?