Everyone from David Cameron to Ellen DeGeneres takes selfies. It’s a part of our modern culture that we all engage in without any real thought, because, well, everyone else is. Whether it’s the duckface smirk or the coyly suggestive close-up, selfies are a mainstay of Twitter and Facebook. Developmentally, selfies make sense for children and teens. And for the most part, they are simply reflections of their self-exploration and nothing more.
Society today has an obsession with ‘selfies’, the Urban Dictionary describes it as a ‘narcissistic act of self-abuse’. However, perhaps the invention of such a simple act could be the saviour to the way in which we all see ourselves. Confidence is an odd thing. You either have too much or too little and neither one is good for you. You’re told to feel good about yourself but then you’re shot down for being narcissistic when you express it.
Every single one of us has seen a picture of someone we don’t like, with their arms outstretched, pouting like a pro and pushing all they have into the camera and thought ‘what a mess’. We’ve all cringed as our parents take wonky shots of their double chins thinking their funny in joining the trend and we’ve all been known to judge someone after stalking through their uploads on Facebook. But we have all also been guilty of doing the same ourselves by taking our own pouting, cringe-worthy snaps.
Photographing yourself should be seen as an expression of your personality. I believe we should all take pictures of ourselves, get yourself dressed up (or down) and make yourself feel sexy, express what needs to be told inside you and help yourself to see the good in you. The element of trying to “look better” isn’t just plain vanity, it’s about being noticed and accepted in society.
Of course, we all have the worries about our negative body image and our wobbling sense of self-definition, but Rembrandt did a lot of self-portraits and look where he ended up. So perhaps the selfie-snappers of today will have bright futures ahead of them too.
You might find you learn a lot about yourself if you lose the stigma attached to it and get creative.