Why You Should Stop Hating on Selfies

by August 8, 2014
filed under Life



The thing about shameless selfies is that the viewer is the one feeling shamed. A selfie is when someone takes a picture of themselves. It’s loathed by most viewers for the blatant narcissism and attention whoring exhibited by the photographed individual.

That’s where it gets sticky: Why should someone not be proud of who they are or what they have? This is the main verbal argument of those who hate selfies: “Oh, you can take a selfie because you’re pretty.” The logic here dictates that only those who are widely defined as pretty can successfully take selfies. But even then, no one, ever, should take a selfie, even if they are “pretty,” because then they are narcissistic exhibitionists. Right?

Unfortunately, if someone isn’t the culturally approved description of beauty, people will be assholes towards their selfie. Especially when it gets posted on the Internet.

The naysayers of selfie-ism, however, are not to blame. They’re only reacting with snakebite jealousy to societies prescribed definitions of beauty: Fit, smiling, pretty, nice hair, nice teeth, nice shape, nice tan, etc. One must also be happy, positive and showing just the right amount of skin. For the men: Be rough and brazen or polite and clean-shaven. Well groomed and fashionable or somehow organized into an attractively disheveled mess. These are the models we look at and worship, so it’s only right that we mold ourselves that way. That we become something people lust after, instead of becoming ourselves.

Only recently have different body types been granted access and exposure to mainstream media, but even then, they’re used for the sole fact that they’ve always been looked down upon. This goes for many classes and types of people who live outside of the described norm, who aren’t fit, attractive, cisgendered and heterosexual. Large people are directed for physical comedy. Male homosexuals, at their worst representations, are flamboyant and, frankly, very gay, while females who are gay are downright masculine.

When there are mainstream fictional characters in existence that break the bonds of niche-filling or demographic-baiting (Andre Braugher’s character on Brooklyn Nine-Nine is an example of a character where there are no assumptions towards their comedic value: Essentially, this character is hilarious first for his cold and robotic manner), that’s when we can start annihilating everything to do with what’s seen as acceptable standards of beauty. And next on the chopping block would be magazines.

Besides all of the above, what makes a human being attractive? Or ugly, for that matter? I actually have no idea. All I know is the types of people I’m attracted to. These tend to fall into the category of women who have goddamn gorgeous eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I have met beautiful women with average eyes and have still been attracted to them. My point is that while this physical attribute will attract me, it might be otherwise for the next person. In fact, I guarantee that it’s otherwise.

So those selfies you hated on while trolling Reddit? I bet you saw a few that you’re attracted to. Even if you weren’t attracted to them, it’s as certain as the sun’s existence that someone else was. And I’m willing to bet that you have self-esteem issues. Whatevs. I do too. Why do you think this article is anonymously written?

Like most humans, we create good reasons to hate ourselves, and those reasons are often reinforced through the media (commercials, television shows, movies, literature, anything consumable with ones eyes). I am attempting to write a novel. I don’t own a car. I work in a dead end job. I’m single. To many people, this is a sad life I lead. And those people can go get fucked by a giraffe for all I care.

So, you selfie smashing people, stop hating yourself. Stop listening to the widespread definitions of beauty. Stop caring what others think of you (to a point, of course. Bathing is still highly recommended). I know confidence and self-esteem are in short supply, hard to come by and a challenge to keep intact, but if there is one 21st century cliché that I can actually get behind (and I only use it in relation to confidence) it’s: Fake it Until you Make it. We lie to ourselves about so many things already, what’s one more lie? Especially when it has positive benefits.

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