I have no issue with selfies – those up close and personal, carefully crafted self-portraits that no Instagram account should be without.
If there’s nobody around to take your picture, and you want to savour the moment or are feeling your look, why not snap away? And if you’re with a bunch of mates and want all of you to be in the photo, where’s the harm in bunching in tight, camera in the air and adding it to your portfolio?
They’re a confidence boost, a feelgood. A much easier path to instant gratification than a wank – and much more acceptable to do at a wedding.
But there is one snag with around 75–80% of selfies I see. It’s your face.
No, you’re not ugly. I don’t care about your spots or your HD brows or your contouring to make your nose smaller.
It’s that grimace. That faux-coy, mock-embarrassed selfie pose.
You know the one. There may be the hint of an eyeroll, or a slight smirk or, in extreme circumstances, a full-on look of disgust at being caught on camera.
It’s an “I am way too cool to be taking a selfie so here is my ironic face” expression that is, frankly, disingenuous bullshit. You’re not too cool – you’re in a selfie. Coolness is impossible. And unless your phone is haunted, or you don’t really understand what a selfie is, you took the damn thing.
You do like having your photo taken. You’re not embarrassed at being in a selfie. If you were, you wouldn’t take them. Why so ashamed? It’s like saying you’re shy and then turning up to your sister’s wedding dressed as the Eiffel Tower.
You go out in a public place, grimace at a camera like a dog trying to remember a dream it once had, click away, post it on your social media channels – no doubt hashtagging it with #shameless – and then sit back and wait for the likes to roll in.
And when they don’t – because sometimes they don’t, thanks to the act of liking something becoming more politicised than a parliamentary debate over flood barriers in Cumbria – you go out and take another one. Probably with a pout this time. Pouts are sexy. You don’t at all look like you tried to kiss the inside of a jam jar and got stuck. Go get that duck face promo.
In an age where some of us are spending five hours a week puckering up for selfies, why are we pretending we’re mortified by them? “Oh I can’t believe I’m pointing a camera at myself; I’d better look like I’m totally above it all.” Don’t you want to look fabulous? Shouldn’t you be pulling your hottest expression?
Selfies are supposed to be a confidence booster – you could at least tell your face.
Have you ever, across a crowded room, seen somebody make a face that is somewhere between “edging past a sleeping person on a train who’s covered in vomit” and “easing out a fart at a funeral” and thought that you really, really have to ask them out? No.
Endless shots of your marvellous mug, and thanks to your gonzo-style photo skills, there’s little room for scenery.
Because you refuse to take pictures of anything else, your face is all we have. Make it a good one.