You’re wearing your favorite outfit, you’ve spent almost an hour straightening your hair and you’re ready for an exciting night out with your friends. You’re in front of the camera so that the lens frames your face perfectly and the lighting fades out any blemishes. Click… click. click. click. This is the typical nature of the ‘selfie’.
2013 was home of a multitude of significant global events such the Boston marathon bombing, the Cleveland kidnapping, there was a new royal baby and the pope quit his job for the first time in history. Amongst these events was the rise of the ‘selfie,’ which I’m sure all of you are familiar with, probably more so than the previous events stated. So why is this the case? Why is the act of simply taking a photograph of yourself such a large part of todays society?
While most may argue the fact that the ‘selfie’ is ruled by insecure, shallow young females and self-absorbed individuals, I disagree. The ‘selfie’ has become such a large part of life today because of it’s power to control the way others view you. Social networking sites are full of status updates and ‘selfies’ representing loving relationships, thrilling adventures and once-in a lifetime job opportunities. The act of the ‘selfie’ is extremely narcissistic in that only the most comedic, romantic, exhilarating and fun aspects of our lives are posted while the mundane, boring aspects are left out, creating a false representation of our life.
Take 25-year old graphic designer, Zilla van den Born. She lives in Amsterdam and used the power of social media and the ‘selfie’ to fake a month-long trip to Asia. Her parents dropped her at the airport while she sneakily made her way back to her flat. For a whole month she digitally manipulated photographs to make it look like she was having the time of her life. She says that she “did this to show people that we filter and manipulate what we show on social media,” (Zilla van den Born, 2014) While Zilla may have exaggerated the nature of the ‘selfie,’ she has accurately represented the extent one will go to create a false representation of themselves through social media.
Source: Austral International Press Agency