A selfie

Above: A selfie by Joselyn Mendez. Credit: Joselyn Mendez.


The selfie is the ultimate photo-genre of the times.

People gripe a lot about selfie culture and mock selfie-takers quite a bit.

But is there anything actually really wrong with taking-and-posting 13, 000 selfies to Instagram?

It is not illegal.

And you don't have to follow if you don't want to.

The complaint seems to be that young people are too self-obsessed.

But is this really true?

What Cindy Sherman's work shows is that when a woman presents herself to the camera there is often a feminine stereotype lurking.

These stereotypes are known to be demeaning (limiting), and were often thought-up (and propagated) by men anyway.

Selfie culture presents an amazing opportunity for self-representations that transcend stereotypes.

Selfies might be the route to the destruction of the restricting straitjackets of feminine stereotyping.

The selfie, if carried on as a critical, experimental act, can open up a new spectrum of images of femininity with tens-of-thousands of typologies on the gamut.

This selfie age is an opportunity to decimate the staid old stereotypes forever.

Selfies are empowering.

As long as you are not getting addicted to taking them.

An addict of self-portraiture is a narcissist (SOED: self-love, extreme vanity, emotional or erotic gratification gained from contemplation of one's self or one's appearance).

For the narcissist, taking a selfie is an erotically-charged thrill.

(3 September 2018)