Selfies emerge from the depths


Sophie Selfie

By Julia Kligman

Sophie Selfie: Tam News lifestyles editor Sophie McGuinness demonstrates the classic selfie.

Photography has blossomed since its birth. A recent development for this profound art form has graced iPhones, cameras, and the internet, in a new sect of snapshots, dubbed “selfies.”

This photocraft is generally created when the moment-capturing device of choice is held 7-12 inches away from one’s face and the photograph is taken of oneself, then uploaded to a social networking website.

Since our seventh grade enchantment of seeing our faces distorted by the surrealistic manipulations of “Photo Booth” and MySpace defaults, selfies have metamorphosed to an audacious beacon of vanity. And, like any true art, the photographic maturation of selfies embodies a variety of newfound innovations, which can depict a wide spectrum of appeal.

There is the duck face. There is the “I am using the placebo effect of the alcohol I have consumed as an excuse to be narcissistic.” There is the “Oh, you can see down my shirt? I didn’t notice as I was uploading the picture.”

Another subdivision of selfies revolves around one philosophy, and this is the “I’ve found myself standing shirtless before a bathroom mirror in low light.” In this case, the lens-bearing device is held with minimal obstruction to the bare torso and the picture is taken of one’s reflection, usually with the flash on for added obnoxiousness.

Whether selfies be a cry for attention or a genuine attempt at modelesque ability, there has to be some sort of rationalization behind them. And I took it upon myself to investigate the alibis behind this art form.

“Some days, I just feel like I look really good, and I want to, you know, document it,” said sophomore Clare, who preferred to withhold her last name.

“I’m sexy and I know it. Or at least that’s what I sing to myself when I take pictures,” says freshman and avid selfie-taker Trixie Bowden. “They’re so much easier to take if you have an iPhone 4 though, and I want one so badly. I’m stuck with this, like, six-year-old iPhone 3G,” she continued in total seriousness.

“Dude, I look hot,” justified Izzy Parlamis, another freshman selfie enthusiast.

“Selfies….ugh. There’s a difference between a documentation and a composed photograph. Anyone can take a snapshot. These people are focused on themselves, not the picture,” said art and photo teacher Mrs. Ouse.

The worst part about selfies is some of the people snapping these pictures have somehow concluded that people actually have a need to see Facebook albums titled with some variation of “vainglorious pictures of me and only me,” filled with 100+ snapshots.

If you’ve caught yourself taking selfies before, you can justify it by using the photo as a means of a mirror. Of course no one wants to walk around with messed up hair or something in their teeth, so if you haven’t been blessed by the presence of a mirror, snapping a picture could suffice as a makeshift reflection of your current state. Or, say you find yourself in the same position as sophomore Matt Suppes and “some chick wanted to see my Thanksgiving outfit.” These are acceptable times to take a picture of yourself, giving anyone guilty of taking a few selfies in their lifetime a sliver of dignity. But just because the picture turns out alright, the entire Internet doesn’t need to see it, especially because the kissy, pouty lips don’t appeal to many, aside from some nice male ducks.