Tag Archives: Media

Selfish Selfies: Why I love The Selfie

I’m going to write a blog. But first? Let me take a selfie…

The Selfie has become an element of society that is so deeply ingrained within pop-culture, that it was bound to raise a few eyebrows and prompt a few head shakes from the media. Selfie culture has gone from a few teenagers taking pictures of themselves in their bedroom, to an overwhelmingly successful industry that not only includes The Selfie Stick, but an opening in the market for Kim Kardashian to slip into, thus creating Selfish the first Selfie book.

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Within the media, selfies generally are attributed to an overwhelming sense of narcissism, only further perpetuated by our use of social media; it enhances the concept of digital narcissism and our innate desire to brag, show off and become constantly apparent in everyone’s lives. There are countless articles online that perpetuate the concept that being appreciative of one’s appearance is wrong and that posting a picture of yourself looking good because you feel good makes you a self-absorbed monster and is representative of something very wrong, not only with social media as a whole, but you specifically are more likely to be a pervert, a psychopath and must have something very, very wrong with you. A selfie is tantamount to you standing on a stage, overtly seeking approval from your peers by screaming, ‘LOOK AT ME’ and not at all as a result of a simple, innocuous action as a result of feeling good about yourself. The concept of feeling good, feeling self-confident and thinking you look good is entirely inert within this research – it seems that general opinion dictates that if you take selfies, then you are insecure, constantly seeking the approval of others and are dangerously narcissistic.

This is, I think, why social media is seemingly agog with the concept of Kim K releasing her very own selfie-positive book: people are openly questioning why there is a space for her in the market to release a book and further questions as to why she’s famous and making more money in a day than most of us will in a life time. Granted, I understand the concept of becoming unimaginably rich beyond your wildest dreams by sucking dick and cleaning up after Paris Hilton doesn’t seem like reason enough for someone to be at a level of fame that releasing a book full of pictures of themselves is possible, but I can’t help that Kim Kardashian’s overt declaration of self-love is a positive thing: it stands up against the media’s perception of how people should look, it cries out against their perceptions of narcissism and re-appropriates the concept of feeling good about yourself – it renders the media inert, in a sense, because now we have pictures of Kim Kardashian, released and approved by Kim K herself, what do we need the paparazzi shots for?

As a woman and as someone who is very conscious about how women are perceived within the media and pop-culture itself, I support Kim Kardashian wholeheartedly; she has reclaimed her appearance, her physique and the media’s perception thereof and has thus rendered any other means of viewing pictures of her obsolete; she is a social media magnate and when we want to see pictures of Kim K, we don’t rush out to buy the latest magazine, we open Twitter or Instagram and look a pre-approved, consensual photographs taken by the woman herself. Kim Kardashian has done an incredibly positive and seemingly intelligent thing: She has reclaimed herself and has taken ownership of her physique away from the media/paparazzi. Isn’t that at least worthy of a round of applause and standing ovation?

Other celebrities are following in her footsteps, too, rendering our desire to buy the likes of Heat magazine and tabloids non-existent. Taylor Swift, for example, uses social media to document parties, gatherings and other social events with her celebrity/model friends; they pose, they pout and they represent a positive view of how women behave socially, rather than the paparazzi shots of women falling out of clubs and flashing their knickers, which is the image of choice or desire of any major publication; a non-consensual image of a woman flashing her private parts is more appropriate to the media than a consensual picture of two celebrities smiling widely on a night out. Rihanna, whilst her photos are slightly less child-friendly than Swift’s, also render a paparazzi shot of her obsolete; if we want to see Rihanna in a bikini smoking weed on a boat, then we go to her Instagram page. Legions of celebrities are following suit, presumably because their lives, their appearances and their bodies are overwhelmingly dictated by the media; these insights into their lives are real and they are positive and far more accurate representations of how celebrities behave and the media dislike it, because, again… it renders them pointless. Naturally, the media are against selfies and want to demonise them for all involved in the movement, but I for one see through it and celebrate women like Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift and Rihanna, for reclaiming their bodies and images as their own; they aren’t there for paparazzi consumption any more – if we want to experience a vicarious view into the lives of these women, that’s what social media is for, and better yet, it’s free!

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I promote selfies because I believe that all people should feel confident and happy in their own skins and I feel that the media intrusion into what we should and shouldn’t find attractive and what we should and shouldn’t be doing with our own bodies and appearances is a negative impact on our self-esteem. We’re not insecure for posting a picture of ourselves. We’re not narcissistic for thinking we look good and document it for others to see and we aren’t psychopaths for promoting the importance of self-appreciation; we’re normal, attractive humans and a celebration of self should be part of our daily routine. So let’s all raise our smartphones and selfie sticks in the air and celebrate being humans, am I right?! #LookingGoodGuys

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Excuse me, I’m Going On A Quest

Hello everyone,

This is a little bit of an advertisement, a cry for help, if you’re being super dramatic because I want to hear from you guys. Recently I posted a blog over on Fem-tellectual regarding experiences I and others have received (as women) within the gaming community and have, thus, attested it to the growing hostility and tension between pro and anti ‘Gamer Gate’ people. As a woman, as an English woman even more so, I’m guessing, I’ve experienced Gamer Gate only as a platform on which people have attacked me for being female, threatened me with sexual abuse and threats and have made me feel that the general consensus of those ‘Pro-Gamer Gate’ don’t want women playing games. Whilst I stand by the post and believe that it is important with regards to inter-gender interactions within a gaming platform, I also feel that it was a little misguided.

The reactions that I’ve had from the post have been largely positive: most gamers just want to game and don’t want to get lost in the politics or accusatory nature of social media, so they agreed that we should just ignore the hype and get down to some gaming. Other people are more passionate about the Gamer Gate cause and contacted me because they feel misrepresented within the media. I guess in the same sense that I feel misrepresented in the gaming industry, or, hell, how I as a woman and feminist feel misrepresented within my country. So I began speaking to them about Gamer Gate, the origins, their feelings, the tension, the counter-arguments from Anti-Gamer Gate contributors… everything. I’ve also been talking to Anti-Gamer Gate folk to discuss their opinions thereof too and have been collating some great pieces of information and speaking to some truly eloquent, interesting, informative and intelligent gamers and general humans.

I have also spoken to some men who basically didn’t want to write information down, lest I edit it and mould it into something negative; take their words and bastardise their intent for my own gain, which I did put down to paranoia and felt they were mistrusting of me because I’m female and a lot of the men I’ve spoken to have assumed I’m Anti-Gamer Gate. I just want to make it very clear to all involved: I am Gamer Gate Neutral and during this entire process and afterwards, I will remain neutral – I don’t have the time or the energy to become invovled in a ‘war’ of sorts. So please, don’t try to force me into a side, because I won’t take one. Also, please be aware that everything I am given will be documented via screenshots, as well as quotes for any articles I write – nothing at all will be edited, or warped, or bastardised to suit my aim… Because I don’t have one.

As a writer, I believe that integrity, ethics and an unbiased approach to everything when writing articles is absolutely imperative and from what I can see, a lot of the Gamer Gate saga has boiled down to a he said/she said mentality, both sides feeling disrespected, both sides feeling they have been done wrong… as someone who has not been involved – not really – I have taken it upon myself to explore this further and represent an unbiased, non-aggressive, polite and professional approach to Gamer Gate and find out what is really causing so much tension: is it the ethics within gaming journalism? Is it a gender issue? Is it that women are mis-represented? I don’t know these things, but hopefully my discussion with fellow gamers and people from both sides of The Gamer Gate Camps will fill me in and discuss with me openly and honestly about their experiences.

If you would like to speak to me, please feel free to contact me via the contact page above. I would like to point out that I do not have an agenda, I am not on either ‘side’ and I don’t want to be. I don’t want to be given a passionate and intruiging piece of propaganda that makes me align myself with one side or the other – all I really want to do is write a piece about something that no one really knows about (other than those involved, it seems). I don’t believe in abuse or ill-treatment of people online, so please respect that when contacting me!

Thanks a lot, guys! 🙂

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Funny Feminist – Taylor Swift

Image:Billboard

 If someone had said, “you will be OBSESSED with this woman in 2015”when Taylor Swift first came on the scene, I’d probably spit my drink out laughing and wondered what you’d been smoking prior to saying something so entirely ridiculous. Taylor Swift, at the time, was the epitome of everything I disliked in music: An overly manufactured pretty girl with, as far as I could tell from never having listened to her music, absolutely no talent and would eventually be used up and spat out, thus left to disintegrate into a breakdown before she reached twenty five. I didn’t think she was anything other than gossip magazine fodder, but, quite happily, I’ve been proved wrong.

Like many other women in the media in 2014, Taylor Swift admitted that she identified with the feminist movement and really, we shouldn’t have been entirely surprised, given her lifestyle and lyric content in a lot of her more recent songs. I’ve always felt quite sorry for Swift: ever since her dating repertoire became something that the public deemed their property, and pictures of her with different men emerged online and became viral, I’ve always felt like a little cheerleader thinking that she was given a bit of a hard rap. Naturally, a lot of the images shared online were less than complimentary towards her and she was generally slammed with derogatory slurs that branded her a whore or a slut, because she deigned to have more than one lover in her life time.

Some of the imagery included pictures of her and a man, with attacks blaming Taylor for the breakdown of relationships, assuming that she was annoying or she didn’t behave properly within a relationship and that’s why men didn’t want her. Other images compared her to the likes of Katy Perry and Rihanna in another pathetic game that wondered why they weren’t considered role models to children when Swift was, given her bed post clearly had more notches than a Syrian warzone, surely she is the OPPOSITE of what we want our children listening to? Is no one thinking of those poor, helpless children when they buy her albums? The men on the internet are, at least!

Taylor Swift’s treatment by the internet was tantamount to the Madonna and the Whore complex, or similar to stating that when a man sleeps with multiple women he is heralded a hero by other men, but when a woman doing it, she should be sent to a convent for being so wayward and unrepenting of an alleged whoreishness that was she was only branded with in the first place by, seemingly, men. It was another element of controlling young women: “Don’t sleep with men! They won’t respect you!” and thus the idea of the virginal woman is more a virtuous aim for young women, than someone who, you know… Does that she wants to do because she can.

Look who’s laughing now…

Taylor is now worth an estimated $200 million dollars and has made a career in singing about exes who have scorned her. Like the old adage goes, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and whilst men can sit around and blame Taylor and try to tell us that something must be wrong with her and she mustn’t behave well enough in a relationship to maintain the love of some skeezy celebrity, any woman worth her salt knows that she hasn’t done anything wrong and that her actions and response to all the haters is ‘Shake It Off’ – if that isn’t feminism, then slap my arse and call me a bitch.

In 2014, it seems that her career exploded again and that she is doing better than ever since her relase of 1989 and the singles that we’ve heard from that, in particular Blank Space is the epitome of being a young twenty something feminist. Lyrics include I’ve got a long list of ex-lovers/they’ll tell I’m insane and Darling I’m a Nightmare/Dressed like a daydream – She openly admits that she might be annoying in a relationship and that she ‘gets drunk’ on jealousy and that being insecure in a relationship and calling your boyfriend out for texting other women or generally being a pain in the arse is okay – standing up for yourself regardless of how ‘insane’ your ex-boyfriends might say you are is the key here; she’s letting young women everywhere know that it is entirely okay to be yourself in a relationship and what self-respecting woman can’t stand up and applaud her for that?

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