With the advent of image-centric social media like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, the selfie culture is at an all-time high. I probably don’t need to explain what a ‘selfie’ is because the word, and the concept has been ingrained in our society for quite some time now. Celebrities post a selfie of themselves in a bikini or in their bedroom and the world explodes. It has become totally accepted (by many people) to post glamorous or sexy pictures of ourselves on the internet. But why do we do it? Is it an ego-boosting thing? Is it simply self-documentation?
Hell, I’m even guilty of taking them.
So let me start by explaining why I take selfies of myself and post them on the internet. It’s actually quite a difficult idea to elaborate upon.
We live in a world where nearly as much weight is put upon one’s online persona as their real life self. The difference between online and real-life is that online is very easy to manipulate and take control of. I might run into someone on the street looking like a total garbage fire, or I might be in a horrible mood after a long day at work, or I may have drank a bit too much with dinner and be a little sloppy.
But my online persona doesn’t run into those same pitfalls.
I can make myself look cute, or look happy, or look sexy, and I can determine who sees the picture. Basically, I have total control over what side of me gets conveyed on the internet. And that’s the appeal of selfies for me: being able to present yourself to people you know/strangers on your own terms.
In the right context, it can also be pretty sexy to receive/send out a nude selfie. I’m not talking like, every day, all the time, but I feel like it can definitely be a nice treat to send or receive one and can be quite a turn-on.
In a recent interview with Imogen Fox from the Guardian, Karl Lagerfield, internationally esteemed fashion guru, had a small soundbyte to contribute about our pervasive selfie culture:
“They are this horrible thing where you are distorted. The chin is too big, the head is too small. No, this is electronic masturbation.”
The idea of electronic masturbation is interesting and actually quite applicable. I think it makes total sense, even though I’m not quite as cynical as Karl. It can be extremely pleasurable and rewarding to snap a particularly good or hot selfie, post it on the internet, and get flattered by all of your internet peers and friends. Some people obviously over-do it and spam the internet with hundreds of pictures of their butts, but that’s not me.