I was accused of having a rant against ‘young people’ yesterday. Denied it, but probably true. The trigger was how ‘young people these days’ photograph their food before they eat it. It’s a subtype of selfie which (I’m told by a young person, therefore must be true) is changing the face of cafe-culture as we speak.
Putting aside the other explanations (narcissism, etc) there’s something wrong about this level of self-consciousness, I can feel it in me water! But in an effort to reconnect with the youth of today, here’s my review of how young people see themselves and, more importantly, how they want to be seen.
This is the basic selfie. Where it all began: A photograph of you by you, and perhaps your beloved of the moment, posing somewhere picturesque. It captures a moment worth capturing for reasons you’ll soon forget. Her: “Is that from Cap d’Adge?” Him: “No baby, see, we still had our clothes on.” Fairly benign in the grand scheme of things. Rates a lowly 1 on the Kardashian Index.
Perhaps the second most-common, the belfie involving tricksy camera angles that squeeze as much booty into the FOV (field of view) as possible. This selfie spawned the sold-out ‘belfie stick’ (notavailable here). Photos in this category are a 2 on the Kardashian Index, unless they involve a g-string (KI3). Belfies by really old people (KI8) are bannedon the internet, which is saying something.
Also fairly benign, actually has nothing to do with the car being driven. It is purely about how good the subject thinks they look in a car. This prompts the question, why no #tractorselfies or #golfcartselfies? I am perplexed. Anyway, another KI2 nless it involves monster fake cleavage of the female variety (KI3). Awesome he-man pectorals don’t count because I say so, because I am a dude.
For those days when you’re looking so purdy the world needs to know, the Outfit of the Day selfie (KI2) is a fashionista’s visual diary of their development as style-counsel. Seems pretty harmless. Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder, as they say, but surely a Universal Standard exists. Some lowest-common-denominator all of humanity can agree upon? Othewise Plato was wrong. Not sure even Plato could philosophize this…
What my interest in selfies began, photographing food you’re barely going to eat is KI3 for banality. The Strawberry Watermelon Cake is the “most pinned” cake in the world right now, but is it the most eaten cake in the world? No, I doubt it. Why? Because all the beardy little hipsters are watching their waistlines. JUST EAT THE FUC*ING THING!
Now we’re getting serious. Pics of attractive women sucking something really unpleasant through an invisible straw, these selfies are now demode like shoulder pads. Models have always pouted–hunger will do that to your face–but unless you have actually been stung by a bee, give it a rest. KI3 means we’re bored.
Fish gape, apparently more modish than duck face, is supposed to resemble the panicked expression of a bass you’ve hooked with your Rapala Hula popper from out under a submerged log. Or the idea is to emulate someone so emaciated their lips can no longer cover their teeth, a la Keira Knightley. This warrants a KI4 because you want to send them food.
Admittedly, one of my favourite selfies, I give this a KI4 unless it involves nudity and/or somebody lying in their own vomit. Technical dexterity required to take a great selfie when really drunk, this phenomenon (which begins innocently enough: “me having a GREAT night out!“) often becomes a photo-montage of terror the Coroner may later find useful. Also hels cops work out tricky legal concepts like ‘consent’ and stuff like that.
Not enough that they spend hours preening infront of mirrors, the next step, obviously, is to send those gym selfies out into the world. Their simple world neatly divides into those who be ‘mirin, or those who be jelly. Has something to do with the supplements they take, makes the distance between synapses a little wider. Anyway, if the dudes moobs have shrunk from a d-cup to a c, we’re at KI4 for grossness. If we’re ‘mirin a genuinely athletic body, KI3.
This is a hilarious subtype full of gangsta wannabes, and Justin Bieber trying to erase the skinny wimp he was 18 months ago. Mostly appeals to fat white kids, mouthy Black rap artists, and actual criminals holding real firearms and the proceeds of their crimes. KS4 for stupid. Keep it coming fellas, y’all be famous soon, you better belieber it!
The traditional warning ‘never act with children or animals‘ applies because the dogs steal the show or photobomb your efforts to look cool. Not that dog-owners can look cool, they usually wind up looking stupid. If you want to look cool, you need to own a cat. Just sayin’. Most amusingly, the delfie proves the theory that (a) dog owners choose pets that look like them, or (b) come to resemble their pets. KI3 depending on the breed of dog.
No prizes for guessing what this involves: the group selfie. It’s not difficult picking the lone introvert in the photo. Our uncanny, nay, superhuman skill at avoiding photographs has failed. But in revenge we can always make sure the photo is so fuc*ed up that nobody is going to want to view it, let a lone keep it. KI4 depending on how ‘bombed it is.
Literally hair + selfie = helfies. Once again, why not #toenailselfie or #armpitselfie? The female obssession with hair is perplexing to me, but I’m a dude in his late-40’s so hair is of but fleeting interest. In my experience, there’s nothing women bitch about more than their hair. For about 15 minutes a day they’re happy, then they step out of the bathroom and apparently their day turns to utter shit. KI3 unless the hair is attached to something extraordinary.
One of my most detested selfies, beautiful women remove some of their make-up in an effort to pretend they’re real people too. Sometimes adding #ugly to the tag-line. Egocentric to the max, what they actually want is a flood of comments, like “oh my god you’re so beautiful!” etc. Which they won’t get from me, because I can see the ugliness in their souls. I’m deep like that, deep and nasty.
Welfies are either selfies by wealthy dickheads boasting their good fortune, or welfare-recipients who own iPhones and want to IG their misery. It’s the case that comfortably middle-class white people take most of the photos we see of poor people, and make poverty palatable to the rest of society by calling it art. When the poor rise and chase the rich through the streets, I hope they remember to take some pictures! KI5 because people flashing money is uber-crass.
Selfies of people who read books, hence the rarest of all. They appeal to my conceit, because I’ve spent more on books than there are cubic-centimetres of collagen in all the Kardashians combined. If you don’t believe me, I invite you to melt them all down. Yes, even the one pretending to be a female. You’ll agree, that makes for a big motherfucking wall of books! KI1 because this subtype is so innocent.
Postmodernist wankery, sure, but smart people just wanna have fun. As implied, metaselfies require a good deal of constructive perhaps even artistic thought prior to execution. You can’t just whip your tits out and snap a #metaselfie (send them to me, I can assess them for you), no, it requires conscious playful self-mockery. These are as good as selfies get, and totally harmless — another KI1.
I apologise in advance. KI7+ it’s difficult culling the NSFW because of the sheer volume of desperate ladies out there flogging their wares. No shame, they’ve gone from youthful self-consciousness to skanky, adult brazenness. Everybody wants to remain attractive, even after they’ve punched out a couple of kids. It’s just the added issue of all those tiny witnesses.
I just made that up. Maybe the worst for last, these are repellent to me. I could cheat and post the Queen of Me herself here, I’d only have a hundred-million Kardashian selfies to choose from. But I can go deeper than that. These are people I would garrotte if it wasn’t illegal. KS 8+ for pure inanity. ’nuff said.