Znelxngr...My Unselfie Self

Me: What do I think of selfies? Idk ...I have a whole album of them on my phone! When I make a silly face...have a good hair day...

Znelxngr: You're so into yourself! 

Me: Shut up Z!

Z: It's true! You love looking at yourself in your phone. Idk...the whole selfie phenomenon is absurd.

Me: Who cares? It's not like it hurts you to see a selfie?

Z: It's the whole idea of them! This image conscious and self-obsessed culture we live in drives me insane. "Finding the right angle" or "Which filter should I choose?" just wastes brain cells. 

Me: I mean...I don't disagree. But the selfies I take are harmless. I'm not over hear posting selfies left and right. I have them sure, but I have never once posted a selfie of just my face for vanity or otherwise. Like those girls who post a selfie with the caption: "No makeup. No filter. Just me." or whatever. You really want me to believe that you don't care....bull.

Z: Yeah, I agree. Like they are definitely secretly hoping someone will comment and tell them how pretty they are and then isn't that the same thing as posting a done-up selfie? 

Me: Yeah! ...But....

Z: [eye roll]

Me: No no hear me out...sometimes I feel like it's a catch-22. Everyone has self-esteem right? So no matter how confident you are, and I truly believe there are people who are genuinely very confident, we all have something we are insecure about. Just maybe to different degrees. 

Z: Is there a question in there somewhere?

Me: I guess my question is this: Is it so wrong to want for the positive comments?

Z: I mean...I guess not. It's not that different than complimenting someone in person. I actually just read this article from the BBC titled, "Why Selfies Can Be Good" that quotes Alicia Elhr.

Me: Who's that?

Z: She's a a visual art critic and reporter at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. But she just wrote a book called The Selfie Generation, apparently all about how our self image is changing. 

Me: Huh...go on...

Z: Well this article quotes her as saying, "Was there ever a time when adolescents weren’t obsessed with their own image?" And I think that's true, but doesn't just go for adolescents. Maybe that's the big difference now with our generation versus others.

Me: That past adolescents grew out of this idea when they reached maturity, but now maturity is reached later and later...if at all?

Z: Exactly. 


Me: You look like you're thinking really hard, Z. Don't hurt yourself!

Z: Ha-Ha....but idk...I was just thinking about another thing from that article that I totally contradicts my view on selfies. I'm just trying to reconcile with it. 

Me: What was it?

Z: The article talks about how selfies are empowering to groups that have been marginalized, "like women, people of colour (POC), the LGBTQ community, migrants and refugees". The article quotes feminist comic book author Mikki Kendall, who took to twitter and said, “Actually can we talk about what #selfies mean to people who never get a chance to see themselves in mainstream media?”  And now that I think about it like that, I guess it does. It gives these individuals, who wouldn't normally have one, a voice.


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