Selfies far from damaging, teaches acceptance of flaws
Selfies: love them or hate them, they’ve become something of a staple for the millennial generation.
Many would claim the selfie is unique to our generation. Of course, with the wave of digital photography, there also came a newfound love for self-portraiture. According to the Pew Research Center, more than 91 percent of teenagers regularly share selfies.
However, to say that we are first people in all of history to ever realize that we were cute would be totally ignorant.
In reality, selfies have been a part of the human experience since the dawn of time. The Washington Post made a timeline of the history of the selfie in honor of it being the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year in 2013.
From trilobites several millions of years ago to Da Vinci and Van Gogh, selfies have been something of a trend all over the world for a long time. They are not something new, and they are definitely not something that millenials invented.
So, why in the world are we the ones who always get insulted for doing it?
News outlets release article after article condemning teens and young adults for taking selfies with friends or family or alone. Time released an article just last year entitled “The Me Me Me Generation,” paired with a cover featuring a young girl taking a selfie with her phone. There’s this stigma that comes along with the word selfie; it means pretentious, narcissistic, self-indulgent.
To me, the selfie is something magical. It’s a moment in time when a human being can frame themselves exactly how they want to look — and for a moment, when they look back at the photograph they just took, they’re allowed to think, “Damn, I look good.”
Selfies don’t have to just be pretty — they can be silly and weird, too. The New York Times recently released an article describing the benefits of taking ugly selfies once in a while and promoted the idea of taking selfies that show off one’s flaws. In fact, it’s the topic of the Sundance Film Festival short film “Selfie,” which tracks a one-day workshop wherein girls are asked to capture their imperfections through selfies.
“We spend so much time trying to hide our flaws, because the culture has set it up that you have to be ashamed if you’re not perfect,” Cynthia Wade, the director of “Selfie,” told The New York Times. “Girls are tired of it. They’re suddenly much more willing to embrace the ugly or ironic.”
Selfies are the way this generation and generations before us have been able to appreciate our own faces and features. It allows us to study our complexions, of all different shapes and sizes, and love them for exactly what they are.
So raise your smartphones and digital cameras, ladies and gents — and toast to loving your face for every crinkle and freckle. Go ahead and take that selfie with your friend, your boyfriend or your grandma, even if you might get some head lice because of it. Post it to the holy trinity — Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter — and bask in the likes and the love that you receive from people all around the world.
You deserve it, you handsome devil.
Opinion columnist Carolina Trevino is an advertising freshman and may be reached at [email protected]