The Selfie

ArtisticSelfieSelfies are all the rage. People rant negatively about them all the time. A teenager’s preoccupation with taking pictures of herself indeed represents a certain amount of self-absorption. But it’s really just a visible sign of an attitude that exists anyway. It puts it out there in a demonstrative way that makes it easier for the rest to see…and be annoyed. The display of vanity. The need for validation. These things aren’t caused by the selfie. It’s just a manifestation of our culture.

How bad of a problem is this really?

Taking photos of oneself is actually a great opportunity to learn about what beauty is. Seeing other people’s selfies is part of that process. One learns how she looks more objectively in photos. The unique features that make you you begin to surface. And the observant eventually starts to recognize that those ARE the things that are distinctive and beautiful.

The feedback pressure cooker of social media, which spawned the need for selfies in the first place, isn’t always the most supportive environment, however that very feedback does serve to validate and inform. It’s a harsh world of subjective assessments, but it’s one you’re in anyway. Since so much in our culture ends up being based on our appearance it’s becoming a necessity that we be more aware of how we actually appear. You ARE going to be judged on your looks. But not just on how well you fit in to a classical interpretation of beauty. Your overall vibe, including a glimpse into your personality, is part of it, and much about that is also conveyed in the look and feel of how you present yourself. All things that the selfie begins to reveal to you and the world. A bit of marketing one learns to refine over time.

There is a more practical side. Text accompanied by selfies much more effectively communicates intent and mood than just text alone.

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