We are living in the era of advanced technological do-dads. Of hashtags, of emojis, and of selfies. Selfie-culture is specific to this point in time and mostly populated by teenagers and other young people. It is something of a cultural staple, just as hairspray was in the 80’s, or going to the drive-in was in the 50’s. But seldom did you hear the type of bullying that goes on towards today’s youngsters poking at the hairspray and the drive-ins years ago. Old people shaming today’s youth has far worsened from the flack received by previous generations. And it definitely needs to stop.
In addition to living in the era of selfies, we are also living in an era of low self-esteem– specifically for young women. Though body positivity has had a decent impact on the youth of today (specifically in recent years), girls overall still have low self-esteem, even from very young ages. But when somebody decides to take a selfie? It means that they decided that they looked good today. It means that they wanted to show people. And that’s a great thing, right? Until a 40-something year old man decides it’s his business to tell the selfie-er to stop and that by liking how they look on that particular day, that this selfie-er is conceited. Hereby adding yet another insecurity to the pile.
Looking conceited has become a notable concern for young girls when taking pictures of themselves. And the real reasoning behind it is the expectation that girls and women shouldn’t care about their appearances. Women and girls are constantly told that being unaware of their beauty adds allure and sincerity (cue One Direction, “You don’t know you’re beautiful/ That’s what makes you beautiful”) conveying the idea that it is a gift for a man to tell a woman that she is attractive.
But there is something wrong about a woman finding that in herself. It is all part of a large patriarchal game that needs to end.
So selfie all you want, girls (and guys)! Because when you decide that you look good, that is nobody’s business but yours –and the followers you share your lovely snaps with of course!