Tag Archives: selfies

Let me get a selfie

When was the last time you took a selfie? How often do you taken them? Do you share them? If you do, how many shots does it take before you settle on the perfect one? Did you tell a tiny fib to yourself as you totted up the numbers there? When it comes to admitting our selfie habits, it seems only questions about our sexual history come with more awkwardness.

I take them almost every day, usually a burst of about three or four. I take them and forget all about them; I don’t tend to make them public. They’re just for me. Sometimes I’m drunk, sometimes I’m worried about my hair and sometimes I wonder how I’m looking in this light, but I take them, am momentarily reassured – or, more usually,  horrified – and then they’re out of my head. I’m only ever reminded of them when I scroll through my camera roll, looking for a sassy meme or that GIF of Sable in Dynasty looking back over her shoulder and laughing. How strange, I sometimes think, that I took a picture of myself then. What was I thinking, I wonder. But I never know the answer. Well, almost never. There’s one set of selfies I remember very well, that’s with me every day. Continue reading Let me get a selfie

17 things more annoying than selfie sticks

I don’t mind selfie sticks. I think they get a bad rap. It’s so drearily predictable people would moan about them, too, isn’t it? I heard someone the other day say that selfie sticks were “end of civilisation as we know it”. Not the refugee crisis, or war, or transphobia or Hollyoaks, but selfie sticks.

Even Brooklyn Beckham – whose every word I hang on, believe me – has come out against them in his iconic guide to Instagram that had my eyes rolling so hard they played the tune to his mum’s opus Not Such An Innocent Girl.

Why we can’t get our heads round the fact people want to take photos that include themselves is a mystery to me. It’s a stick. It’s no different from a delay-timer on a camera or using a tripod. Why shouldn’t you be in your own photos? Nobody else is going to take pictures of you.

Last week I went to a social gathering and was asked if I could take a group shot. I had to stand on a chair to get everyone in. I looked and felt stupid, and everyone could see up my T-shirt. And then someone arrived with a selfie stick and everybody had loads of fun posing and frolicking with people they’ve never shared a photo with before.

We devote a lot of energy to moaning about selfie sticks and the people who use them, and we need to divert this passion somewhere else. There are so many more deserving recipients of our ire and derision.

Here are just a few:

1. Loud people on coke
We’ve all sat in a bar at the next table to those awful, loud people on coke. They think they are hilarious, that they’re being oh-so-sneaky trundling off to the bogs every two minutes. Most of us have probably even been those people.

Congratulations on being ripped off and a big well done on your substandard class A drugs and bravo for becoming even more boring than you were before you rammed that glorious 75% glucose crap up your nose. Please pipe down. And stop saying “beerage”.

tumblr_n09m6epupz1tqsvo0o1_500 Continue reading 17 things more annoying than selfie sticks

Take a long hard look at your selfie

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.

selfie

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.

hqdefault-2 Continue reading Take a long hard look at your selfie

Social media: Form of self-help or enabler of self-doubt?

The 2010s are truly the age of the share, whether Instagramming pictures of your breakfast, Facebooking all your friends about your holiday or tweeting a link to your latest blog. Social media has turned us all into broadcasters, producing special-interest programming on every aspect of our lives and thoughts. We are all our own chat show.

But while we gently mock those who overshare or bore on about their children or their dull jobs or impart half-baked political opinions, social media has also given us a window into people’s lives that we’ve never had before. Total strangers upload pictures of themselves in new outfits, on nights out, in fabulous apartments and occasionally – on Naked Sunday, for example – undressed. And we observe, we judge, we aspire. We envy.

Looking at photos used to be restricted to close friends boring you to tears with glossy 5x4s of their holiday to Alicante (“Don’t get fingermarks on them!”) or your mum embarrassing you with childhood snaps, but now we are all willing autobiographers, snapping every moment and flooding the internet with selfies or snaps of our favourite puddings.

But these pictures are not for personal reminisces in our dotage –we know we have an audience out there, so must look our best. ‘Touching up’ is no longer restricted to those who know their way around Photoshop; all manner of apps and programs are now available to ensure we are always ready for our close-up. Blemishes, wrinkles, freckles and folds be gone – our public awaits!

Have you ever noticed that the most prolific snappers seem to have the most remarkable of everything, bodies especially? Six-packs and pert boobies don’t just belong to Hollywood superstars with home gyms at their disposal. Now we all have personal trainers and workout routines and love to post the results of our labours – followed by a sepia-tinted snap of a garish cocktail that we’re having as a reward, of course.

Sculpted pecs, toned arms and bellies you could bounce a nickel off are de rigueur. Whereas the body beautiful seemed only attainable by celebrities and sportsmen and the odd gym-nut who didn’t have a social life, Joe Public is getting in on the act too. But has it always been like this? Are we taking care of ourselves more because we know someone will be watching? Most of us want to look good on the beach or in the bedroom, but do we need to make sure we’re internet-ready too, all too aware that the next comment or retweet could be a cruel remark not a compliment? Keeping up with Joneses isn’t just about nosing over the neighbour’s fence – the world is our Mr and Mrs Jones.

For everyone else back on Planet Normal, balancing work and personal lives means there’s less time than we’d like to work on our hotness or to furnish that apartment to make sure we have the optimal background for all those pictures of us posing next to a colourful salad.

Musclebound gods clutching pornstar martinis in private members’ bars with a couple of models can both inspire and demotivate. Sharing on social media can very easily divide us into the haves and have-nots; the cans and the cannots. Some decide that if these otherwise utterly ordinary Joes can live the high life and look great, then they can do it too. Let’s hit the gym a little harder; let’s say no to those chips; let’s skip that last pint of ale and have a vodka shot instead. And the circle begins again. For others, however, it’s just another enabler to drive them further into despondency and reaching for that family pack of Doritos. Envy is a carbohydrate.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but that isn’t always the case. Mostly, a snap shared by social media tells only a small part of the story. It’s a freeze-frame, aesthetically buffed and primped, and shared only because the subject or the observer thinks it paints them in a positive light. They are sharing a look, not their minds. As the blemishes are airbrushed out of existence, it takes personality with it.

Before you look down at your own wobbly belly and become wistful or glance around your dingy hovel with charity shop furniture and feel inferior, think about what you don’t actually see – what aren’t they sharing? They look great, sure, but how do they feel? What do they think? Do they think anything at all?

Amid all their fabulousness, they still have a real life, a mass of insecurities, fears and doubts. Their snap-happy, brainless declarations of amazingness are just another form of comfort-eating, but the buzz is temporary and expensive – looks fade fast and martinis don’t come for free. Your mind and your personality, however, are yours alone and, if you’re lucky, will always be with you.

Don’t envy the oversharers their wonderful life; pity them that they have to brag about it to feel good.