You guys. "Selfie" has been proclaimed by the Oxford Dictionary as the word of the year for 2013. This is crazy. This was a hashtag. Now it is important enough for the dictionary. Consider my mind sufficiently blown.
So... Let's talk about selfies, shall we? Because whether or not you take them, I bet you have opinions. (Jezebel certainly does.) I was totally anti for a while, until I realized I'm a fashion blogger and I've actually been taking selfies since my first days of joining Instagram. You see, in my opinion there are a lot of different kinds of selfies. To explain what I mean, I have laid out below (and illustrated above) some of the photos I have taken for your judgement and amusement.
The "This is my face and I'm feeling pretty good about it" selfie
The "Here are my nice shoes" selfie
The "This is what I wore today and it's better than usual so look at it" selfie
The "Here I am with my #girlz" selfie
The "Check out my layering skillz but not my face I have no makeup on" selfie
The "It's okay because someone else took it" selfie
The "Here's my shadow on a luxurious ski trip so is this technically a selfie?" selfie
The "Be jealous of my travels but also peep my 3.1 Phillip Lim bag" selfie
The "Oh, what? That's just us in a convertible in the Hamptons" selfie
Uhhhh #humblebrag much? I think it's nearly impossible to take a selfie without some trace of vanity, ego or self-agrandizing. It's all in the name, is it not? We're controlling the way in which we're portrayed online as never before. While that's maybe empowering, it's also a little scary right? Perhaps ironic even that a photo called a selfie can portray the most dishonest, exaggerated and of course, highly filter version of ourselves.
I think the key to posting a selfie with success (and by success I don't mean earning "likes," but causing the least amount of people to want to throw their phone off a cliff) is self awareness. Humor is the easiest way to get there, but purpose and self-deprecation are up there as well. Am I always keeping these things in mind when posting a #selfie? Probably not, but I think I try. If a picture of myself on the internet is not making someone laugh, making me look silly or perhaps answering someone's "What should I wear today?" question, then it's maybe best left in the ol' camera roll #formyeyesonly.
Let's clarify that being proud of yourself and having confidence is not the same thing as bragging. Posting a selfie of you finishing a marathon? Mazel! Posting a mirror selfie of your washboard abs with #blessed? Not so much. Bragging does not come with good intentions, and especially not "humble bragging." Anyway, there's my rant on selfies, plus a bunch of selfies I've taken. I feel weird about it and perhaps that's the point.
I invite you to critique, criticize and discuss with me. How do we feel about selfies? How do we feel about it as a word in the dictionary? Do you take selfies? Tell me!
[Photo credits: Me, obviously.]