Monday, July 1, 2013

Selfish Selfies

'The term "selfie" is new to me because....well, I'm old.  For those of you who are not in the know, a selfie is a photo of yourself taken by yourself.

There are two kinds of selfies.  There's the Spontaneous Selfie where the person has their arm extended as far as they can, trying to look very casual, while attempting to balance their phone so they can get a clear photo.  The photo is supposed to seem as if someone else had taken it because the person looked so fabulous at that exact moment that it deserved a Wilhelmina head and/or body shot for all to gaze upon in jealousy and awe.....even if it's obvious that they took it on their own.

Then there is the Blatant Selfie where people stand in front of the mirror and you can see them holding their phone to take a photo of themselves, not even pretending that someone else took the photo.  They are coming right out there saying, "look at me".  No bullshit there.

Selfies have become so popular that everyone knows when it's a Spontaneous Selfie or if someone else actually took the photo of them.....and most people don't really care if you know or not.  

There are also two sub-levels of selfies.   (Yes, I'm still going on about this....I've been educated and want to share.)

First, we have the Solo Selfie where the individual clearly doesn't care what's in the background because the photo is all about "Look at MEEEEE.  Just me.  I'm sooooo interesting.  And (lovely/handsome/charming/trendy) too."  Their surroundings are irrelevant.  However, if you visit Happy Place dot com, you can see how things can go terribly wrong if you forget to scan your environment real quick before clickin'...... zoinks, Scooby!

We also have the Purposeful Selfie.  This is either the person doing something interesting, visiting  some place special, or being a part of a group of people who are doing.... whatever.  There is a reason why they are taking the photo and it goes beyond just their appearance. These photos say "Here I am driving" or "We all are hanging out tonight without you" or "I'm at the beach and the view is awesome".  

IMHO,  the only one that doesn't make the word "Narcissist" pop into every one's mind is the Purposeful Selfie.  That one is about bragging rights or just plain old excitement.  And it's interesting.  I give a pass to Purposeful Selfies and I actually like them.  If it's a group, you know those people had a blast taking a gazillion photos to try and get a shot where no one looks like an ass.  I've taken a few Purposeful Selfies to memorialize events, especially with family members.

A recent family selfie after a day at the zoo....all tuckered out
Another family selfie, one of my favorites.... after an awesome day at the local beach
(BTW, IMHO means In My Humble Opinion if you didn't know.  And BTW means By The Way.  And yes, I know that I have a lot of nerve claiming my opinion is humble when I write things and put them on the internet because I think someone somewhere finds it interesting.  My mommy does, as well as strangers in other countries, so therefore, I keep writing)

Wondering what my point is here?

The past few weeks I've been seeing a lot of Solo Selfies pop up and I wonder 'what did the parents of those people do right to make their kids so self confident?  What did they say to make their children feel like people want to see photos where they are the main subject?'  I want to know.

I would like my daughter to grow up and feel like she's interesting and beautiful.   It's one thing to be told that, it's another to believe it.  I had a mother who did nothing but tell me how wonderful I was (in HER humble opinion) and yet, I didn't feel like I was.  I was only able to see the parts of me that needed improvement, despite the fact that she never once ever mentioned them or criticized me.  

So, what was the little secret that parents (especially those of the Millennium Generation) knew that made their children secure and self-assured?  You never see those shy kids from high school post selfies.  They are living outside of their own little worlds and post photos of their kids/pets (if they have them) or family vacations or amazing landscapes.  Sometimes I get annoyed and think, 'What the hell....it would be nice to see YOU for a change!'

Maybe that's their deal.  The ole supply and demand theory.  Hmmmmm......verrrrry impressive, shy peeps.

Anyway, I have plenty of years before Allie figures out how to use a camera to take photos of herself.  She got a kids camera for Christmas from her aunt and uncle, and we have a lot of amazing shots of the carpet, furniture corners, and the dog's ass.  Selfies do not appear to be in her near future.

I have time to work on this self-esteem/confidence/assurance thing with her.  I hope Allie thinks she's photo worthy at every moment.  If she takes a million selfies and posts them on whatever Instagram or Facebook become then, I will keep my fat trap shut and instead tell her  how awesome she looks.  

Unless she does that popular "duck lips" thing.  That's just stupid.  Who told kids that duck lips equal sexy face?  



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