Why a Selfie isn’t so bad…
Some of your peers want you to feel guilty for your selfies. Some of them don’t see the point in your postings of smiles, duck lips, clothing choices, posing with children, or, deciding on lipstick colors. But, as a social worker and Coach, and having helped others with holistic social media marketing, I see the deeper motives behind pointing the camera towards oneself. Some are recording momentous events, others share progress in weight loss, or graduation, or turning 50, or, getting published. Some need the attention. Others do not. Some desire connection. Some want to expand your thinking. A Selfie isn’t so bad.
Regardless the intention behind the photos with your mug as the focus, it is true that some selfies feel like too much on the other end. Everyone likes to poke fun at the Kardashians, for instance. But, not all of you will witness the same conclusion seen on screen which makes Selfie Nation so fascinating. Is it art? Is it supposed to be funny? Has she gained weight? Is that edited? Sharing life through visual journalism makes one susceptible to criticism from both external influences and internal ones. Yet, here is where the judgement needs to end. ‘Selfie Nation’ does not make a person more narcissistic, rather the reactions and judgements do.
Selfie Nation critics
Most of the writing you will find about Selfie Nation will warn readers that kids are becoming narcissistic usurpers of social media and the attention it brings to them. Yet, I don’t see the harm in sharing your beauty, your wisdom, your messiness, or, your reality with others. In a segregated and socially isolated society where many cannot easily manage connectivity and relationships, a selfie brings you back to community between demanding work schedules and time spent with kids. It can spark home business success with a few photos and text. According to some writers, selfies should be considered more in business branding.
In my own feed on Facebook, for example, I have over 2500 friends and I have seen many friends use selfies to promote themselves in the circles of their peers and eventually they were approached for modeling contracts, speaking opportunities, and workshop facilitation offers. Selfies, for these folks, have created opportunity where it didn’t exist before. A selfie isn’t so bad.
When Selfies promote self – love
There are probably over 200 million Instagram photos with the hashtag #selfie. There are some fascinating finds there. Controversial posts are recent, like, The Game whose post was utterly explicit and quite button-pushing to the point where Instagram threatened to take him down. Others, such as MuMuMansion includes a single hip L.A. mama who motivates women as she shares personal details like divorce, dirty dishes, and, saggy breasts. I also found a young woman, Molly Soda, who used her selfies for an artistic medium and courageously approaches us with natural body hair. There are so many more, Tess Holiday has approached and encouraged body love as a plus size model. One of my favorites, Baddie Winkle, a senior woman who dresses and behaves more like your typical teenager. Selfies are a tool which provide posters the power over how they are perceived. Rather than accept the insults, judgements, or self-conscious impressions from external sources, those that post selfies offer an open window into their space, even thoughts and feelings, while cleverly directing responses and experiencing empowerment.
Narcissism versus Healing
Some of you may not be fit for Selfie Nation. It represents parts of society that can be magnified either through intense scrutiny and competition or it can become, for some, a space where you never measure up. When you choose to play in the world of social media, you may inevitably have a love/hate relationship with yourself, your followers, or the entire channel. Or, for others, you realize you aren’t going to get caught up in the judgements or needless responses from others (whether good or bad). You have probably have seen the many articles on how celebrities Photoshop or use apps to change their appearance, or why models have discontinued using altering images and apps in their swimsuit modeling advertisement. In the end, most of you realize that altered selfies are not going to make you feel better about yourself and put undue pressure on the public. A selfie isn’t so bad. You can actually learn a lot in the process.
Just for Fun
Want to see how celebrities and others enhance their selfies? Try the app Facetune
Or the Face Cam app for face focus through Itunes
Here is a FUN quiz. See what your most popular photos were in 2015:
Click Here (totally safe)