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.
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!
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