I am so sick of the selfie saturation. Are you? If you’re not one of the people abusing the selfie, then you’re probably sick of it too. You’re allowed to take selfies to post to Facebook, Twitter (can you post photos on Twitter? I don’t even know.), Instagram, or the like for the following reasons:
1-There’s no one else around, and you want the event documented (or all of you present want to be in the shot.)
2-There’s no one else around, and you’re communicating with a particular friend or your partner, and you’d like to send visual messages.
3-There’s no one else around, and you’d like to post a photo to a dating site in order to show people your face.
You’re NOT allowed to post selfies in order to;
1-Entice anyone and everyone into lusting after you.
And that, my friends, is the thing that rattles me. I am frustrated every time I see the flirtatious/seductive selfies all over Tumblr, Facebook, and Instagram. You know what people? You’re not the stars of your very own reality tv show. Your mission is not to attract the attention and flagrant admiration or devotion of all others of the opposite (or same, if that’s your goal) sex in order to have everyone fawning over you. And yet….
And yet, this is the aim of 90% of the selfies I see. And yes, they’re mostly of females (young girls and grown women alike) and not males (more on the fact that this selfie generation is perpetuating sexism in just a minute; stay with me.) How do I know this? Because I’m a female, and every female knows how to look Hawt in a selfie – even, may I venture to say, if she is not hot in real life.
There’s the angle of the cellphone. The photo must be taken slightly from above and angled toward your eyes, increasing the appearance of “doe eyes” – or larger-than-natural come-hither blithering eyes. You know the type.
There’s the makeup. You know who has time to apply great makeup for selfie close-ups? Single women with no responsibilities. This could be young girls who only go to school, or twenty-somethings who work but not tons of hours, but CERTAINLY not women who are raising small children. For this experiment today, I successfully ignored my seven children while they watched tv so I could apply the makeup to ONE eye for twenty minutes. The makeup doesn’t have to even go on your face (the magic of filters!) – just a bit on the eyes and lips, applied perfectly to, again, enlarge the eyes, is all that is necessary.
There are the filters. I used two different filters from my iPhone on the photos I took. Both practically eliminated dark circles and dark spots (again – seven kids wreak havoc on the complexion and the sleep, especially when one child is a newborn!) The filters only “blurred” reality a lot, though, on the side of my face which was directly in the light, which was perfect for this experiment. One thing filters can’t eliminate, though? Your extreme narcissism.
Then there are the facial expressions. Oh, the looks. I could go on and on about the duck-lips (or fish-lips, or whatever you call them – drinking something out of a straw helps the effect as well), the cocked eyebrows, the glances up from under the lashes — pick your poison. I also adjusted my torso, shall we say, so that certain, ahem, aspects of my body were more noticeable. Don’t worry, though, I cropped that part out of the photos for you, my fine readers. 🙂 It was still a good thing to show the children, though – how a contrived photo can make the head look large, the rest of the body look tiny, and the chest more enticing.
I’m going to point out all these tactics below on the photos I took today, but before I lose you, I want to, with great precision, explain the problem with this.
You’re not seeing the real person who is behind the photos. You’re seeing a contrived image communicating exactly what the woman wants you to think about her. She’s feeding it right into your brain through the gate of your eyes. It’s a bit sexist because when men post selfies, for the most part, the men are smiling. The men are frowning. They’re action shots. They’re fairly real. I’d go so far as to say that most of the time, men are NOT posting selfies. They may make vines (6 second videos showcasing their humor, sarcasm, wit, or stupidity), or post photos people took of them doing things, but that’s because WE CARE as a society about what a man DOES. And what do we want to know about a woman?
How she LOOKS. That’s all that matters. I say these selfie-obsessed (dare I say, self-obsessed?) women need to stop loading the dice. First of all, they’re gathering the praise and admiration of men all over the internet. Men who are in relationships with OTHER WOMEN just like them. However, these women who perhaps wash their clothes, cook their food, and raise their children DON’T have hours each day to apply makeup (or even minutes.) They DON’T go around with ridiculous expressions on their faces, and their men are seeing them DOING things — in other words, they are seeing these women make actual expressions, from every angle.
People now have a severely skewed idea of how a female should look. Women have an overturned sense of self-awareness, all because of their SELFIE awareness — they no longer are comfortable just looking like regular women who ACTUALLY DO THINGS all day every day. They feel they always need to put forth this image of seductive perfection, and possibly their partners feel that way too and are now disappointed about the way these women look in real life, in real time.
I say this trend is also a bit sexist because men don’t wear makeup. They get to age “gracefully,” receiving praise for wrinkles and gray hair. That’s an old argument facing our society, though, and hence, not the point of my rant. I just think the new sexism in this is the DOING allowed to men, while the women must merely BE, and be BEAUTIFUL all the time at that. For instance, in my wedding photos, I don’t look gorgeous. I applied my own makeup, and I went throughout the day in my own skin. I’m full of smiles, which, oh my goodness, crinkled up my eyes – giving me both SMALLER eyes (gasp!) in the photos and – wait for it – WRINKLES at my laugh-lines! The horror! But that, my friends, is the result of happiness, and the image of happiness is not the same as these selfies we commonly see. I like those selfies of a bunch of girlfriends together, one lady holding up the camera, everyone grinning for the phone. A mom with one arm around the little people who are all giggling, the other arm holding the phone far enough away to capture all the joy of the moment in one image.
So, without further ado – my selfie experiment – in photos. I took these today and then described in detail to my children why pictures can be deceiving and how wrong it is that girls today are so completely obsessed with making themselves look alluring to the entire world (also pointing out the sexist environment which encourages this.) I normally try to avoid coming across in a negative way on my blog and try to steer clear of condemning anyone. But hey, it’s my blog, and I am sick of all the fake selfies. There’s almost no part of the “self” left in these selfies anymore.
Ditch the selfie awareness, people, and try regaining some sense of your own SELF awareness.
Make sure to read the captions which explain each ridiculous picture. 🙂
Next, I applied makeup to my OTHER eye (how I had an hour to sit still for all this, I have no idea,) and moved into the garage for different lighting (and because making these ridiculous expressions in front of my kids was starting to make me feel a bit…ridiculous.)
Okay and THEN….I went above and beyond and shot a silly/angry selfie. Seriously. why? Why is this stuff all over? Don’t we have better things to do with our time? (Disclaimer: I was constructing and using these pictures in order to show my kids how pictures can lie, and it turned into a blog rant.)
AND FINALLY – a REAL selfie – Grace and I together, smiling for the camera, because — I was the only one around to document this mommy/baby moment. 🙂