“Selfie” is officially the International Word of the Year for 2013 – the Oxford Dictionary says so. In case you don’t know what that is, here’s an excellent example (of me, of course):


This announcement produced an outpouring of editorials and blog posts decrying the state of our world. The gist being: oh no! we’re all self-centered narcissists and ‘selfies’ should really be called ‘selfishies.’ I found this post particularly noteworthy for its histrionics.

Newsflash: the selfie is just a medium to showcase my narcissism. I’ve already discussed my issues with selfishness. You may not write blog posts to discuss your personal issues, but you undoubtedly have them – it’s the crux of the human condition. The selfie doesn’t make me more (or less) selfish or narcissistic in the same way that guns don’t necessarily make people more violent. Instead it provides a means of showcasing something that’s already in existence (selfishness, narcissism, violence etc).  I’m not convinced that narcissism is the sole reason for posting a selfie.

Seriously. There are all kinds of reasons why a person would take and post a picture of themselves: showing off a new hair cut, attention-seeking, loving their makeup, feedback on a new outfit– or some combination of reasons. My final comment concerning this issue is what’s it to you? If your desire is to look at 550 pictures of cats and not of people then perhaps FB and Instagram aren’t really for you.

Let’s face it whatever your reasons for taking a selfie (be they attention-seeking whoredom or otherwise), it’s not actually easy to make it look good.

And though I take aural offense at the term ‘selfie,’ the actual practice of taking one? Doesn’t bother me in the least.. Which is really what this post is about: how to take a good selfie. Like this one:


1.      Always start with good light. There’s a reason why so many selfies are taken in the bathroom!  This video awesomely show’s the effect of lighting on one’s face. And here is the perfect bathroom selfie:


2.      Learn how to pose. I’m serious. Until holograms become The Next Big Thing, you’re going to be stuck saying “cheese” for the next few years or so. Understanding how to highlight and show your best features will make you less likely to cringe when someone pulls out their iPhone or worst yet, their iPad:

3. And last, but definitely not least, Smile! There’s no reason to hate pictures of your own face. In the words of Nayyirah Waheed:  “you see your face. you see a flaw. how. if you are the only one who has this face.” – the beauty construct


2 Comment on “The Art of the Selfie

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