Above: Me & Sharon. Demonstrating a selfie at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour on Diagon Alley. And with my Biscuiteers’ Boutique cupcake.
(Before we begin, this post isn’t sponsored or anything at all.)
My outdoors adventures loving, shopping hating, best friend Ebony can be filed under best-friend-you-could-meet-but-doesn’t-try-to-get-me.
Ebony: ‘I bet you’re going to take a photo of yourself in that lipstick.’
Me: ‘Yep; selfie time!’
Ebony: ‘… You even have a word for that kinda thing?!’
Me: *attempts to think of an explanation and fails*
More so in the past 7 days than ever before, the word selfie has been thrust into the spotlight with plenty of connotations attached. For the most part it’s been used to judge those joining in with that ol’ “breast cancer awareness” #NoMakeupSelfie social media campaign – FYI, my two cents is that no-one has ever spoken about it more than right now when everyone’s complaining that it doesn’t raise awareness or help. Double entendres, y’all – but also, y’know, to self-indulgently document one’s face.
I often find myself defending the selfie. Granted I really don’t post many, if you’re discounting outfit posts which aren’t technically shot by myself(ie). But nevertheless, I defend myself anyway. Us bloggers use social media in such a way that is still very new and taboo to other social media mavens. Striding forwards with our usually original ideas, posts, tags and visions that sometimes “go viral” and joining forces with our captivated and engaged audiences, I find it’s real-life social media community users that I justify myself to.
You see on a very topline kind of level, the selfie is pretty narcissistic. Don’t deny it – there’s some semblance of ‘I look alright enough to share to the potential public’. Social media finely and pretty darn coolly bridges that gap between virtual reality and scary real reality.
Would I for a moment dare to print a snap of my face and post it on a community board in town? Er, no. But there’s something weirdly invigorating about posting it online where any amount of people from no-one to the some 1.8 billion social network users* could see it. And applied in a fame contextual way, you never know, your face could (and if you were on Facebook this week, it did) influence thousands.
I guess the main reason I defend the selfie is because I see the other ways that social media is useful, relatable and darn valuable today. As a mass consumer AND mediocre creator I know that seeing a photo of Rumi Neely a.k.a. Fashiontoast will make me add more Phillip Lim to the wishlist, that watching as the public gets excited about a campaign that I’ve worked on will forever make me feel proud and that Zoe is a prime example of being the most influential girl-next-doors. (Her blog actually inspired me to start my own, all those years ago.)
How do you view the selfie trend? Is it a bit self-indulgent and gratuitous, or do you also see the building value of it?
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* Statistics taken from We Are Social, January Report 2014.