The Age of the ‘Selfie’


There is nothing that epitomises vanity like taking multiple pictures of yourself and posting them on the internet above self-tagged captions like; “So fat in this one but …” or “Why am I so ugly!”

Or so one would think.

But the truth is that this type of self-centred presentation of oneself is now acceptable and no longer saved for people who think too highly of themselves.

We’ve all done it, taken the camera, iPhone, smartphone out and experimented. Bathroom shots. Mirror shots. And we’ve seen friends on Facebook do it. The test of our morality comes when we decide whether or not to publish it, or keep it hidden to ourselves.

I’m guilty of this hypocrisy as much as the next person; endlessly raving about people who take photos of themselves when I do the same.

Is it self-adoration? Or vanity? The media pushes the image, nowadays, of being happy with who you are. No size is too big. Embrace your bum. Stop saving for Botox. Naturally, then, we are encouraged to love ourselves. And, of course, there will always be those who aren’t so optimistic about the body in which we live so why can’t we be our own fans? Love ourselves as well as, or instead of, everyone else?

How many times have you heard someone say; “I’m too fat!” when they’re barely breaking a size 6? Annoying, isn’t it? The ‘selfie’, I guess, can take the edge off.

But whilst for our generation and older ones, the ‘selfie’ has become an evolution, younger generations are born into this culture. 10 year olds make their way onto social networking sites and broadcast themselves, following the example of adults who do the same. The Apple Store is riddled with hundreds of people taking their own picture for it to be stored on the ‘Camera Roll’ to be seen by subsequent users.

Children become prey. Suddenly they lose their innocence and become a method of marketing; “Look how much fun you can have with an iPad!”

Yet, in truth, the ‘selfie’ not a new concept. Monarchies have been doing it for years, albeit on canvas. When you take tours of palaces, paintings are hung on every wall just as they had done when the reigning King or Queen inhabited the stately home themselves. We don’t view these as overly conceited; we see them as works of art. So aren’t we, by taking multiple shots of ourselves on electronic devices, just taking leaves out of the books of the monarchy? Aren’t we displaying ourselves on our own electronic walls to be admired by those who pass by?

But, vain or not, in this day and age, there are, of course, the risks that royalty did not have; the issues with internet safety. So though the ‘selfie’ may not be a bad thing, it can only acceptable until it is taken too far.


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