Without a selfie did it even happen?

First and foremost I am a self-proclaimed selfie taker, but hey when your outfit is on fleek who can resist? When I explained this weeks topic to both my friends and family I received an identical response, “Mim this is right down your alley”. Thanks, guysScreen Shot 2017-03-12 at 7.04.45 PM.png

The selfie is defined as being “a photographic object that initiates the transmission of human feeling in the form of a relationship (between photographer and photographed) … [It] is also a practice -a gesture that can send … (different messages to different individuals)“. It is predicted the average millennials 25,700 selfies in their lifetime, and it is predicted that on average 93 million selfies are taken each day worldwide. WOW.

The way selfies have been taken has changed dramatically over time. First beginning with self-painted portraits such as the famous Vincent Van Gogh, to now with the revolutionary smartphone.

As mobile technology has rapidly advanced, the action and quality of selfies have gotten easier and clearer. Renown Vampire Diaries queen Nina Dobrev demonstrates how the task of taking selfies has evolved, as new editions of phones have been introduced into society.

 

While technology has largely influenced the action of taking a selfie. The personal reasoning is another variable factor, often we take selfies to express or empower, show followers various aspects or experiences of life and lastly publicity. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are the prime selfie domain, currently, there are 292,485,07 postsscientists-have-announced-a-new-unit-to-accurately-measure-narcissism-the-selfie-per-hour.jpg on Instagram using the #selfie. How can you even prove that you went to the gym without
a ‘gelfie’ (gym selfie)?

Selfies have become a social epidemic.

Selfies are a way to connect yourself to your followers, they are intimate and can often highlight personal moral, values and emotion this can be described as experiencing “togetherness“, and the social and cultural context of the person. Lasen argues “that social media platforms are stages where users negotiate intimacy in public through self- disclosure “in a choreographic way”, where comments are useful to check other people’s reactions and affections“. Some can argue that the constant posting of selfies highlight narcissistic tendencies, and constant selfie takers are considered to be narcissists.

Another negative that arises from selfie taking, is the moral panic. Initially, moral panic stems from the mass media and has gradually been dived amongst the various platforms of social media. It is the idea that our followers cast a ‘make or break’ judgement on the selfies we post, the questions they may raise and what they perceive from our posts. The term ‘Selfiegate’ was coined by Bayum and Miltner, “it raised questions about “who takes selfies and under what circumstances“, an example would be Selfie Trend Put Into Perspective. Katrin Tiidenberg narrows down moral panic in two reasons:

However this is not always the case, selfies can be used and considered to be platforms for expression and empowerment. Various celebrities, minorities and everyday people have adopted this to create social media accounts that aim to help and inspire their followers.

In an interview with the ABC Australian model Steph Smith, explains that since gaining a

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 10.10.43 AM.pngfollowing on Instagram, followers are wanting to know more about her efforts in the area of health and wellbeing. Steph’s health and wellbeing blog is designed to promote a healthy way of living and highlights that this such lifestyle is not only lived by the ‘rich and famous’, Steph promotes various products and companies that she believes can have a profound impact in benefitting your overall wellbeing.

Selfies and their meaning and interpretation will forever be a topic of discussion. The act of taking a selfie, based on frequency and individual personality is once again narrowed down to both scientific findings and personal opinion. It is evident that there are many negatives regarding the concept of selfie taking, but there are many positives that have allowed individual create careers, inspire and given a path to expression and empowerment.

But hey, you do you!

Sources:

  • Senft, Theresa, and Nancy Baym. “Selfies Introduction ~ What Does The Selfie Say? Investigating A Global Phenomenon”. Ijoc.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.
  • Miguel, Cristina. “Visual Intimacy On Social Media: From Selfies To The Co-Construction Of Intimacies Through Shared Pictures”. Social Media + Society 2.2 (2016): 205630511664170. Web.
  • Bonn, Scott. “Moral Panic: Who Benefits From Public Fear?”. Psychology Today. N.p., 2017. Web. 11 Mar. 2017.
  • Hines, Nickolaus. “You Won’t Believe How Many People Have Died Taking Selfies Since 2014”. All That Is Interesting. N.p., 2017. Web. 11 Mar. 2017.
  • “Katrin Tiidenberg: Selfies – Narcissism Or A Way Of Self Expression? / Tallinn University”. Tlu.ee. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.
  • Cowan, Jane. “Millennials Of Melbourne: Steph Smith On Insta-Fame And Buying A House At 23”. ABC News. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.

 

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Sexualisation vs. Art

We now live in a world were ‘moral panic‘ is gradually taking over. We live in fear of not ‘belonging’, of being taken over by a foreign country and we attempt to avoid the daunting thought of being judged. Society is becoming a subject to this fear where now the way we advertise is transforming into G rated marketing strategies.

But what do I mean by this?

Recently I was introduced to the concept of ‘corporate pedophilia‘, yes I was just as confused when I first heard this term. This term is narrowed down by Emma Rush and Andrea La Nauze; “Corporate pedophilia is a metaphor… used to describe the selling of products to children… it encapsulates the idea that such advertising and marketing is an abuse of children and contravenes public norms”. This is a term that creates moral panic. The sexualisation of children is a common topic of discussion when looking at marketing and advertising, it seems as if has become a major ‘danger’ and parents are becoming weary of how their children are being photographed.

I approach this topic witch the analogy of a woman’s make up, some people say she has a ‘cake-face’ while others think she looks ‘good and normal’. Prior to learning about this topic, we were taught about the concept of the public sphere and semiotics and how these concepts have ability to influence they way we interact and our opinions, views and ideologies. I think that this is a contributing factor that influences the way in which we feel about certain advertisements.

thylane-col-3

Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau, one of the most famous fourteen year old models the world has seen. The photo above is from Vogue’s 2011 January spread, where the young tween is posing for the renowned brand ‘Tom Ford’. There has been much public speculation about this young girl and the work she does. In an article from the Daily Mail, Dr Emma Gray states “This picture is the antithesis of what childhood in our society should be; a child being exposed to a world she is not yet equipped to deal with solely to serve the needs of the adults around her.” ‘Body image’ and the ‘media influence’, appear to be one of the biggest worries parents are having with their young children. When examining the image it is obvious that she is made to look older and this further highlighted by her clothing, makeup, hair and poses. Furthermore it is understandable as to why this young model can be viewed in a ‘sexualised’ way.

Although for those who are apart of the ‘high fashion’ public sphere this model can be viewed in a different light, some could call it art and have a profound appreciation for fashion. Analysing the above photograph from an artistic point of view, some would say that the young girl is show casing high fashion of the time, with elements of sophistication and poise.

It is evident that there are numerous views on this topic and the way we view these images and the harm that can arise. Due to moral panic we are being encapsulated in ‘bubble wrap’ – the idea that we are being shielded from everything because of the idea that the media has the ability to change the way we view and absorb everything we see.

It seems as if this panic is diminishing the notion of free thought by constantly reinstating negative views.

One persons fun can be another’s worst nightmare.