Selfie: “A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”
Ok, WordPress, get with the program. Stop giving me the little red underline thingy when I type the word ‘selfie.’ Haven’t you heard? It’s a word now. No, it’s not misspelled. No, I didn’t really mean to type “sulfide” (but hey, thanks for that wonderfully appropriate suggestion…). No, selfie is now a word. Really. Just ask the Oxford Dictionary.
Ok, so, in case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard, ‘selfie’ was chosen as the Word of the Year by the Oxford Dictionary. I mean, everybody’s saying it, and hey – everybody’s doing it – so we might as well go ahead and recognize it, right? Makes sense.
So, since this seems to be the ‘trend’ these days, I thought I’d throw my two cents in there on the subject. I mean, I know I tend to be as quiet as a little church mouse when it comes to having an opinion on things, but I thought I’d break the rules just this once… (Heh.)
So, when it first crossed my mind to blog about this, I decided to check with other people to see what their first, gut responses were about selfies. The first person I asked? “Selfies = wanting attention.” Well, there ya go. The next? “Well, I guess it sort of depends on the context of the photograph, but for the most part I see them as vain.” Both excellent answers and probably answers that go with the majority. They were also the answers I’d probably give if I were asked.
Well, that is, if I didn’t take the time to think it through and realize what a hypocrite I am.
Before I started to write this blog, I would have made this statement: I am the type of person who does not do the selfie thing. No way. Not this girl. Absolutely not. But then I started looking through my pictures and I noticed something.
Apparently I’m the queen of what I now like to call the “sneaky selfie.”
Yep. Apparently if I add some humor or a purpose or, best sneaky selfie loophole ever: another person to the picture, then I’m totally absolved of any of the ‘vanity’ accusations, right?
Selfie with the boyfriend? Well, duh. He’s my honey. No vanity here. I’m not trying to say I look good…I’m saying, “look how cute we are together!” Right?
Goofy selfie with my daughter? No vanity there! Just being silly. And someone else is in the picture, so it’s all good.
Duck face with a baby selfie?? Helllo! No vanity there. Nothing but cuteness. Aren’t I adora….*ahhem*…um…isn’t she adorable???
Swing selfie? Well, duh. Everybody’s doing it! Look how much fun I’m having! I’m being a kid. I’m being goofy. Weeee! (I mean, yeah, my hair looks great, and my eye color is popping, but I hardly even noticed that part….) There’s humor, people. Totally acceptable.
Oooh, or how about the time I straightened my hair with a new hair straightener and wanted to show the world how good it worked?
Nothing wrong with that! That combined two of the sneaky selfie criterion to a tee. Humor and purpose. Totally cool. And yeah, my hair was looking kinda perfect that day, but that was totally a coincidence. No vanity here.
Ooooooh. Or about the theatre sneaky selfies?? Totally acceptable, right?
Of course! I’m not me, I’m somebody else! Duh. I’m not showing myself off, I’m showing off my love of theatre and costumes. These pics were totally about the costume/makeup people, not me. Heavens no.
I’m even sick of looking at my own self at this point, so I’m going to go ahead and stop with the photographic evidence and just get to my point. Like my two guinea pigs’ answers at the beginning of this story – and, like what my own answer would have been – are you of the “selfies are just vanity” mindset? Or, to put it quite frankly, are you a hypocrite like me?
What the heck is wrong with it, people? I mean, it’s such a phenomenon that it has become the word of the year. The word of the freakin year! Is it vanity? Ok, maybe to an extent, it is. But you know what?
Who the heck cares??
Isn’t it kind of awesome if you think about it? Whether you’re a flat out selfie poster or a hypocritical sneaky selfie poster like myself, either way I think there’s a deeper meaning behind this trend. People are starting to…*gasp*…feel good about themselves! What?? Surely not! We’re not allowed to do that, right!?
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote what has become a vastly popular article called Get Over It. This was an article in response to one man’s criticism of runners and of what he calls their incessant need to “show off.” I adamantly defended runners and the fact that they have every right to plaster their 5K, 10K, 13.1 and 26.2 stickers on the back of their cars because it’s something they are proud of. Something that they not necessarily want other people to see (although if they do, great!), but mostly something that they themselves are proud of and want to display. I defended that right to no end and broadcasted my opinion that we runners should shout our accomplishments from the rooftops. And apparently, almost 1600 people have agreed with me because that’s where my stats are right now for this one article.
But if I took those 1600 people, myself included, and asked them what they think about selfies, I wonder what their answer would be? Same as mine would have been? Same as my test subjects’ answers were?
I’m guessing probably so.
I sure do need to stop being a hypocrite. Do you? If your hair looks good today, if you’re especially proud of your makeup (girls, not guys – oh heck, my readers are super diverse – guys that wear makeup, this goes for you too), or if you’re just feeling especially good about yourself today for no reason at all and you want to snap a new profile pic of yourself? By all means, selfie it up, people. We only get one spin at this whole ‘life’ thing, we might as well just live it. Smile, capture the moment, show it off, and move on.
You won’t be getting any more flack from me. That’s a promise.
“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.”
– Samuel Johnson