In praise of selfies

I think what the selfie has given us is the ability to share about ourselves what we most want the world to see in us. Our best side, best angle, best lighting, best pose, best moment. Our best life, presented in small snippets, bite-size portions of what we wish our life looked like always.

It lays out for an audience our insecurities and greatest confidences. Look at my eyes, they’re my favourite. Or these legs I’ve worked so hard running to achieve. Or this long, long hair, this jawline, my fashion sense or how seductive I look at this angle. I’m thinnest when I do this, my skin is smoothest with this filter, the things you cannot see are carefully smudged over with images we edit and alter till they’re exactly what we want you to see.

It cannot capture spontaneity, or the way we look into the camera when someone else is taking our photo. It leaves behind the uncomfortable, awkward positioning, when you’re not quite sure just how to smile or how squinted your eyes are when there’s someone else behind the lens. There are no secret moments captured, the small beautiful seconds someone else can expose when you’re free of yourself. The magic is removed.

But what the selfie has given us is us. Identity, a chance to be photographed when there is no one else to do it for us. To be a part of the big picture and leave behind proof we were there. I was here.

I think for all the criticism of the selfie, it has given us such a precious insight into one another — a door to see into how others see themselves, a study in us. I think we should embrace it.

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Alex

9 thoughts on “In praise of selfies

  1. I completely agree! There’s nothing wrong with a selfie unless it’s a mirror selfie or a duck face. In your photo’s case that’s a “kiss face” and it’s adorable! Let’s take back the selfie! πŸ˜€

    1. Technically, mine is a fishy face, but thanks to the filter, it looks like a poor kissy face. Is fishy face acceptable? I know ducks are out, are fish in? LOL πŸ˜‰

  2. I agree, I snap selfies of me and my kids daily and I love them because they are really the only pics of me and my kids together.

  3. I never take selfies, but my kids take them of us all the time! I’m glad because they’ve captured some fun times!

    1. That’s another cool thing about the digital age… kids can take over snapping pics. That’s awesome. πŸ™‚

  4. I love this post! A beautiful outlook. I never take pictures of myself and this has inspired me to! I think what I don’t like about the ‘selfie’ is the actual word ‘selfie’. Lol

    1. Take them! Nobody snaps pics of me… without my selfies, there would be no record of me with my family.

  5. I am ALL about the selfie. If not for the selfie, I’d have a grand total of about a dozen photos of me over the past decade. Webcams, phones, camera timers – all manners by which I craft the illusion I display to the (mostly online) world. My kids and I take webcam selfies almost everyday – I rarely share those, but it’s a record for me and for them of our everyday. Yay for selfies! (the photo to the left? Selfie).

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