The selfie. A 00’s phenomenon that hit us like botox: wonder weapon and hype at first, only to realize that after the first 20 treatments (and addiction) our emotional self is frozen to a moment. Sure, I have been guilty of the selfie myself.
But this morning, in the wee hours of calm and serenity, first snow falling outside (it was instagram-worthy), unable to sleep at 4 am, I browsed through my instagram feed. And that’s when it hit me. There are no nice instagram posts out there! Every one with limited exceptions is a selfie, or something of the sort. Given, the hashtag is no longer used that addictively. But I still see tons and tons of self-portraits. No big difference if it’s tagged as such or not.
In the 80’s and 90’s, we lamented that there was only one beauty ideal (the super model), what it was doing to us and our young ones, our perception of our selves and so on. I remember reading The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf which caught up on some of these society trends. We would never have even considered taking a photo of ourselves if not at least properly airbrushed, styled and photographed by Patrick Demarchelier and including our best friend to constantly talk us into doing it. And that still would have left us slightly queasy.
Then came the 00’s and individuality was suddenly extremely trending. And along with it, the credo that everyone is beautiful in their own way. Thank god, right?!
But what are the side effects? 20 years back, we were lacking open self-confidence to our bodies/looks (or so they say). Today, it’s bubbling out everywhere. The selfie was just the personification of what society in Europe and the Americas had been harboring for a while. Compare dating for example. In the 90’s, you couldn’t find a guy/girl who was self-confident with how he/she looked. In 2013, it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t stop to stare at their reflection in a car windshield on the way to the grocery store. Is that really what we want?
Self-confidence comes from within, not from a selfie, mirror, makeup, name it. Maybe I’m overreacting with this post. Maybe I’m on to something. Who knows. The next 10-20 years will tell.
All I can say is, my instagram posts will as of now include the important things worth photographing.
Want proof? See for yourself on instagram.