Wednesday, April 3, 2013

16 Days - Mastering the “Selfie”: The Once Underexplained Art of Narcissism

I can almost hear the “eyerolls” now. Meh. Fuck it.

There is something to be said about a person who admires themselves. That something could be that they’re conceited, egotistical, or out-and-out vain. But that something could also be that they’re self-confident, or complacent in their looks or even overall life choices. Or it could be said, as in my case and in the case of the occasional (oh, shut up) picture I may take or self portrait I might post, maybe the person just had a really goddamned awesome hair day. Whatever the reason, each time an individual takes and/or posts a picture of themselves by themselves, they are putting themselves out there for the social mediaverse to judge, and while judge they may, their thoughts, comments or rants have never stopped this woman from sharing with the world how she looks in her new Michael Kors blazer.

The “Selfie” as it has been recently penned, apparently by the same idiots who coined “besties” and “appies” (best friends and appetizers, because, what else does one need when one is 15?), has grown into an outright phe-nom (yes, phenomenon) all across Sharesville, Earth. And while Warby-Parker-wearing hipsters, watchers of the show “Girls” and grossly unattractive people (aren’t they all the same thing? I kid. Sort of) enjoy the act of loathing those participating in selfie parties, young pretty folk are having themselves a grand ol’ time showing off their Ray Bans, duckfaces, and newest MAC lipstick shades, and you know what I think? I think ‘Who fucking cares?’ Teenagers, girls specifically, spend enough years fighting a combination of the demons that are their peers, self-esteem, bullies, and hormones and yet are expected to come out not just mentally stable but also ready for womanhood, so why on earth would anyone give a shit if when they realize that they’ve done so, they want to flaunt what their momma gave ‘em via social media? More power to them. I for one was ashamed of my teen and post-teen state and didn’t start to enjoy my physical appearance until well into my twenties. That probably explains now why I’m completely comfortable with not only having my picture taken, but also shared with the world. Bottom line is this – I like how I look, and I matter, because it took years to get this comfortable. Want to know how it’s done? Here are a few tips for the amateurs in the room…


The first thing they show you in modeling is how to stand. Yes. Most everyone can stand; we get that, but can you staaaaand? Standing means that everyone who walks into that room knows that you’re there, even if you’re 5’3”. It means you don’t even have to mingle, because anyone who wants a piece of you will come to you, you scorching, sexy beast. Broccoli in your teeth? Turn chin downward and to the left… GONE! Your angles will show your best side and hide your worst. They can shrink your nose, get rid of that third chin and even lighten those dark circles. Use the reverse option on your camera only if it gives you good lighting, if not, use the old “I’ve got a phone AND a mirror” trick, just be sure that you look confident in the picture you take. If you don’t, it just looks like you’re trying too hard. Play with your angles first and last and do everything else in between.


I don’t show my teeth, and it’s been brought to my attention that I don’t. My teeth are almost as important as my heart, meaning that only those who prove their love to me get to see them. I drink coffee and tea, smoked for years, and never wore braces, so needless to say I’m not particularly proud of my not-so-pearly whites, but I’m kind of fond of my “no teeth” smile, so I use that one fairly frequently. Unless your smile is 100% natural – like that picture where you were caught in the act of laughing your balls off when your bestie blew a booger out of her nose while standing atop a bar stool singing a Beyonce song – don’t show teeth in your selfie. Every other picture, have at it. Drive a toothmobile for all I care, but bag it for the Twitterverse.


Props that work: Small fluffy dogs. Drinks. Pillows (if it’s a sleepy-selfie). New glasses. Bath tubs. Airplanes. Babies (other people’s or your own. Both are acceptable.) Celebrities. Vinyl records. Historical monuments. Sex toys. Crap, that one was private. Hubby and I are still working out the kinks of my being on the road. And I do mean, kinks. Hey now.

Props that make people laugh at you/feel badly for you: Pissed-off or frightened cats. Prettier relatives. Weird hats no one would ever wear. Mario Lopez. Flowers. Religious relics. Wife-beater tank tops unless you’re Marky Mark. Insides of Wal-Marts. Credit card statements (wtf?). Police cars. And the number-one worst prop for selfies in terms of patheticness…. tears.


If your self-taken picture doesn’t reflect a person who looks like they are about to go kick some ass – either the world’s or another human being’s – then I suggest you put the iPhone/iPad/iPatch away and start all over again tomorrow. What you should want as the outcome of your selfie is for all of Sharesville, Earth to think one of three things:
  1.         Oh I LOVE that [bag, scarf, necklace, blouse]!
  2.         Seriously? A bikini picture in March? Whatever. Conceited bitch.
  3.         (Sigh), I wish I had her confidence.

If you get anything close to one of those three responses, you’ve taken a great picture. But most importantly, you should feel like you’re happy with the product you’ve created. You’re the product, homeslice. You created you, at least, mostly. So who’s to say that you shouldn’t show off your creations from time to time, right? I mean, New York is overloaded with galleries and museums filled to the window panes with beautiful things. If people didn’t want to see what you have to show off then they wouldn’t pay the price of admission. So, selfie away…

I, for one, am certainly not going to judge you. 

(P.S. Happy birthday, Angelou Deign!)

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