No, Jezebel, Selfies Are Not A Cry For Help

Oh, Jezebel, what have you done now?

I was away from my Twitter stream for most of the day. I returned home to find that one of your writers had decided to write a bit of a rebuttal to Rachel Simmons article proclaiming selfies as “little bursts of girl pride” (that’s possibly the most adorable way to describe anything in the world and I hate that I’m not the one who came up with it).

The response piece at Jezebel takes the opposite position, arguing that selfies are nothing more than a “cry for help.” This position has gotten the site in a bit of hot water, as it would seem to contradict some of their own professed positions as a feminist website, albeit a watered down and mainstream one.

Did it not occur to the writer of the Jezebel piece that for many women (myself included), selfies are some of the only opportunities we get to feel confident about themselves? I look like a whale in 99.9% of candid photographs of myself. If I can boost my self esteem back up by snapping a picture of myself, what’s the harm in that?

This piece accomplishes one thing and one thing only: it adds another activity to the list of things we’re “doing wrong” in life. Don’t girls and women get that enough? Now I have to worry about whether or not I’m propping up the patriarchy with every self shot I take? What happened to saying “this is me, this is who I am, this is my face and my body” for the sake of one’s self-esteem? Now, not only am I supposed to feel ashamed about my appearance, but I should be doubly ashamed because I dared to take a picture, to find a flattering angle I’m proud of? No. I’m not caving.

As a writer I know that a surefire way to rev up the number of clicks on your piece is to write something intentionally upsetting (see my article here at Thought Catalog where I call all Republican members of the House of Representatives terrorists… That was fun). I have to believe that’s what you’re doing here (to great success, I’m sure). Still, there must come a point where you all whether or not you’re harming the people you claim to support, all in the name of clicks. TC mark

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