Ah, selfie culture— the self-portrait of a self-obsessed, self-absorbed generation dripping with vanity and poor table manners; a generation that doesn’t have enough time to pronounce the entire word “totally” but is somehow able to devote an entire hour to contouring our faces. We’re a part of selfie culture.
As a hesitant member of this generation, I must admit that I’m impressed with some of our greater accomplishments. When I see hybrid technology or solar panels built by millionaires that aren’t even 30 I feel proud of us. I’m proud that our minds are open and our spirits are curious. I’m proud to be among those that think outside the box and push boundaries. It’s truly an incredible thing. But then again, I’m sometimes reminded that I am also living among the generation that engineered the selfie stick.
I laugh and cringe all at once because I am reminded in the most obvious way that we are indeed our own worst enemies. Predestined to self-destruct at the site of our own filterless faces, we post our self-portraits in search the validation we so crave from our peers.
So, what’s in a selfie? Are we vain or vying for attention? Are we seeking validity or reinforcing our relevance? Or do our brows just look so gosh darn good that it would be almost criminal not to share it with the world?
Look, I’m not trying to hate on selfies (though it may appear that way) and I am certainly not immune to the validation that I’ve sometimes received when my hair, makeup, and lighting were all coinciding with one another simultaneously. I’m all for self-confidence and feeling empowered, but let’s just call a spade a spade—we’re all just a bunch of hashbags looking for a few likes.
If your duck face is your chosen path to liberation, by all means go forth and pucker. But instead of trying to justify vanity in a way that will provoke others to read between the lines of the cryptic song lyrics you’re so cleverly quoting, do me a favor: reach for your innermost Ron Burgundy and tell the world wide web to “Come see how good I look!”
There really is no need to blur the lines, yet so many people attempt to reach beyond frankness for something a bit more humble. Here are 15 of the most common ways people try to justify the taking of their selfies.
15 Ways We Justify Our Selfie Culture
- “Brow game on point”. Congratulations on perfecting the arch of your eyebrows but Oscar the Grouch was sporting a pretty sweet set of brows before the Kardashians could even wipe their own backsides, much less invest in their eyebrows.
- “Oh hey, look I got new makeup”. Or in other words “Look, I just colored on my face and it looks awesome!”
- “Thanks @(insert company name here) for my (insert product name here)”. Products are best displayed right next to your face, so as to display your enthusiasm for said product.
- “I can’t feel my face when I’m with you”, or some other cryptic musical lyrics prompting people to dig into the details of your life. Who are you with that’s causing your face to go numb? Are you dating and/or sleeping with someone? Inquiring minds need to know once you’ve planted that social seed.
- “Love my fur baby so much”. And I’m sure that your fur baby loves you too, but have you stopped to consider which side of their snout they think is their good side? Fur baby selfies: giving people reason to take a picture of themselves while still seeming wholesome since 2012.
- “#NoFilter”. Gosh you’re so brave and glamorous for sharing your filterless face on the interwebs. What a cool, down to earth, and naturally flawless person you must be.
- “Thank God for mom juice aka coffee”. In these you will see a picture of a mom (or dad, because feminism) posing with her (or his) cup-o-joe and praising its ability to raise her from out of the exhausting morning ashes of motherhood. Coffee mugs are definitely having a moment.
- “TBT”. Throwback Thursdays are great because they allow us share photos of our skinnier former selves without it seeming narcissistic.
- “Transformation Tuesday”. If you were perhaps a late bloomer and feel that your current self completely trumps your throwback self “Transformation Tuesdays” give you the perfect platform to show your high school crush the awesomeness that they missed out on.
- “Facebook Friday”. I guess Throwback Thursdays and Transformation Tuesdays weren’t enough to get the point across that you’re looking darn good, so Facebook Friday was birthed in order to solidify the fact that the selfie cam on your Iphone is indeed fully functional.
- “Man Crush Monday”. Pictures with your honey are the perfect reason to justify the vanity of self portraits without making it all about you. Because, look, it’s a picture dedicated to your man, and definitely not a ploy to show off your bone structure and/or new lipstick.
- “(Insert adjective pertaining to hair here) hair, don’t care”. Curly, straight, short, long, red, yellow, green, whatever. Thanks to Pinterest we’ve all stepped up our hair game and the world needs to know that our strands are on point.
- “Getting my sweat on”. If you don’t take a selfie while working out, did it ever even happen? How would we know that our peers have gym memberships if they didn’t document themselves doing squats? That’s all well and good, but I’m pretty sure that taking a selfie while walking on an elliptical poses a very real risk of bodily harm. Just saying.
- “I woke up like this”. Really? You woke up in perfect lighting with a strategically placed messy bun and mascara? If this is the case, congratulations, because I look like a distant cousin of a Yeti when I wake up.
- “On fleek”. Fleek is, well, on fleek in 2015. It’s really having a moment, as are the hashtags that accompany it, and the Instragrammers using it. Whether it’s your duck face, contouring, or the way you’re ever so effortlessly placed your beanie atop of your perfectly tousled hair, congratulations on your fleekness and thanks for letting us know that you’ve got your $#!^ together.