In recent years as the popularity of selfies has reached its pinnacle, so has the trend of mocking girls who take them, particularly amongst grown men who should know better. Despite the fact that selfies are common not just with younger generations but anyone who has a basic grasp on technology, there are still guys that state on their dating profiles that they’re put off by girls (or guys) who take too many selfies. Derogatory remarks like “duck face” are constantly commented on selfies, poses are mimicked, whole articles are written, and memes are shared across the internet to denounce the avid selfie taker.
Even “scientists” have had their say on selfies, by arguing that they’re bad for us and lead to narcissism. Or by trying to prove in their research that certain poses make girls less attractive, such as those that accentuate certain assets. When in reality, the science behind selfies isn’t really relevant: we shouldn’t need to analyse why we want a photo of ourselves. Those that are regarding Kylie Jenner’s extensive selfies as a “cry for help” seem to be trying to shoot down a girl’s confidence.
Everything we post about ourselves on a public medium is attention seeking. A lot of the people we follow on Instagram, or are friends with on Facebook have a tendency to pick and choose the parts of their lives they share. Such as them graduating University, getting engaged, married, having a baby, celebrating a new job, or traveling the world. But for those of us who aren’t currently making any significant changes to our lives, the ‘likes’ we gain from sharing our selfies is where we get validation that we’re at a good point in our lives. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to those around us, and even though what we’re doing may not seem worthwhile, we need people to know that we exist.
Even so, girls are constantly being made to feel insecure about photos they thought they looked good in, a photo that perhaps was one of few they liked of themselves. Guys who don’t even know these girls are leading them to believe they’re worth less than they thought. One example of this is the college girls that went viral last year when they captured several selfies of themselves at a baseball game and were then mocked by the grown man announcers. Despite them not only capturing photos of themselves – and their snacks – but capturing a happy moment for them: a memory. It could have been a particularly uneventful baseball game, which probably explains why the announcers were so focused on the audience.
The reason people take a lot of selfies these days is because they have the platforms to do so. There is only one of you, so what’s wrong with exploring your narcissistic side, and being happy with your appearance? People don’t write diaries as much as they did in the 90’s, because they don’t need to, not when they can leave a digital trace of their memories on social media.
Kim Kardashian managed to sell approximately 125,000 copies of her book, Selfish, in the first couple of months of its release last summer, which told the past 9 years of her life story in the form of selfies. And whilst yes, she lives a much more privileged and glamorous life than most of us, it doesn’t show much more than blatant vanity, and yet people still bought it, people cared to see her transition through the years.
Obviously it’s not always appropriate to take selfies. Although the selfie generation love to capture every moment of their lives on their phones, selfies can be bad taste. Places such as funerals, Auschwitz, or with unknowing participants tend to be inappropriate. And then there’s the danger of taking selfies on cliffs, next to wild animals or on high buildings.