“Selfies are not all about seeking external validation” (Rutledge). Selfies are generally understood as a form of self-portraiture in which the photographer is also the main subject or, one of, the photograph. Selfies have become a more prominent trend since “[…] appear[ing] on the photo-sharing site Flickr and on MySpace back in 2004” (Rutledge). However, desire for self-portraiture has existed since first commissioned in Ancient Egypt, self-painted since the invention of the mirror, and now simplified and cost-free with digital camera devices (Rutledge). As a result, the now widespread selfie has created a negative stigma that nearly makes them synonymous with narcissism, though such immediate reasoning for selfies is deceiving. The cultural phenomenon of the “Selfie” illustrates our natural human desires; to feel noticed, appreciated, and recognized, that all encourage repeat behaviors (Sturt and Nordstrom). Naturally, one may initially misread selfies as a cry for attention or simply narcissistic. Through delving deeper into a selfie takers reasoning, selfies reveal that our culture craves sensible methods of boosting self-confidence, self-expression/exploration, and connection with others.
Selfies may be misjudged as narcissism incarnate however humans seek approval. It is foolish to immediately accept that the reasoning for a posted selfie is simply one’s arrogant display of their huge ego. The selfie viewer should ask themselves, as a human being, do they “[…] want to be valued, appreciated, and included in the groups that matter to [them]” (Rutledge)? Though these are quite basic humanistic desires, many dismiss any of these possibilities as a reason for why an individual could be ...
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...selves, clearly identify with interests, and seek feedback. In doing so, the subjects of the selfie feel noticed, appreciated, recognized, and included with groups that matter to them. Selfies prove more intimate, personal, and connected when posted to others in lieu of more words. The brain interacts with images in a different way than plain black and white wording, through looking through old photos we can relive an event. Celebrities whom post selfies feel they are instantaneously and directly connecting to their fans on a more personal level. The “Pretty Girls Ugly Faces” meme can reassure and normalize concerns with perfection, granting confidence. Whether the selfie taker is, in reality, asking a question, showing off facets, or exhibiting a passion, selfies reveal that our modern day culture desires these innate social acts and selfies are the perfect outcome.
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