Do you remember when selfies involved a mirror? An apt metaphor for what seemed the apotheosis of neo-narcissism. Pictures of me by me. The brainiacs at Psychology Today and other high-minded journals spent years analysing the shit out of the phenomenon and concluded, yes, narcissists are selfie-prone — but so are people who think of it as fun, worthwhile, and normative.
Gone are the days when you ask some homeless bloke in a tatty raincoat to take a photo of you in the street with your beloved. You just use your Gollum-like elongated selfie-finger to take the pic. With mobile phones approaching equivalence with high-end cameras, when isn’t one now Insta-ready? Every moment brims with Insta-possibilities. The question now is how selfies developed since the primeval days of simply striking a ridiculous pose infront of your bathroom mirror.
Qualifier: they still do that. It remains de rigeur. Yet among the many reasonable questions a cynic might ask, the first is why are all these attractive women taking their own pictures? Surely they’re not all femcels, doomed to a life of bitter inceldom? Maybe it’s just marketing. Business before pleasure. Girl’s gotta build some buzz before they auction themselves off the highest bidder.
Alongside the immortal selfie is the belfie. There was a time pre-Kardashian (PK) when being ‘two axehandles across the ass‘ was a bad thing. Now there’s no such stigma attached, and the interwebz are flooded with advice on how to blast your butt. I’m sure ‘doing a fire hydrant‘ was illegal in my youth, but apparently now it’s good for building gluteal stability. The fact women dream of ‘making my butt look bigger in jeans‘ means I have fallen down a rabbit hole and emerged in an alternate reality. When they begin advocating for a bigger gunt, I’ll ask the Red Queen to chop off my head.
Obliged by their spiteful paymasters to return to the hated ore-COVID workplace, a bold rebellion is brewing in the selfieverse whereby office-bound ladies (and men) defiantly whip their chesticles (or other bits) out during a bathroom break to laugh in the face of tyranny. I’m not sure what they call it, but you get the gist, and it includes any workplace. So while the line between inappropriateness and free promotional material might blur a bit in some cases, I’m sure the airlines (for example) wouldn’t object to a bit more of this.
Ballot-selfies really only make sense in countries where voting is optional. In Australia you get fined for failing to vote, so why would you take a snap of you doing your duty? It would be about as stupid as you taking a self of you breathing, or taking a shit (more on that later). Selfies promote you doing something cool and/or looking hot while doing it. So maybe there were millions of Americans who wanted to prove how ‘real’ they were by posting evidence of them ‘taking a stand’ or some other vapid shit. Or they thought they looked good standing in a queue with all the other Walmart people.
Toilet selfies. Really, women are taking smiling photographs of themselves doing the deed. Gloria Steinem, please have a word with these silly bitches, she’s set back The Movement by at least fifty years. I know there’s are dubious porn niches for this sort of nonsense, but do we want your children seeing it in ten years time? No, is the answer. Do not take a selfie of you doing a poo in 2019 in case your little Billy becomes a scatophile in 2029 and finds himself in an awkward situation.
As we know, resting bitch face yielded to the trout pout, which was bumped in favour of the duck face. It’s hard telling what came next, because so many ladies still enjoy a nice duck face. If pushed, I’d say we’ve returned to our ichthyophiliac roots with the fish gape. Different from the trout pout in that it gives a ‘subtle sense of allurement‘ the gape engages only three muscles in your face, which is handy because that’s all they’ve got left. It would be hard to engage socially with a gaper because you’d never know if she likes you or if she’s really bored.
Last (for now) there’s the detestable update fn the entirely fake ‘no make up’ selfie, which is now the “Don’t-body-shame-me-for-being-fat WHOOPS! I-just-lost-a-thousand-pounds-and-now-I’m-skinny-and-so-motherfucking-hot!” selfie. If I could have stitched ‘hypocrite’ and ‘selfie’ together, maybe with shiny glaze of rendered fat surgically pumped out of Rebel Wilson or that fat smoker Adele, then believe me I would have. I didn’t like you when you had your own postcode, now you fit into one leg of your old jeans I dislike you even more. Where are you hiding all that skin, ladies? The skin.
I don’t doubt I’ll be back, because the truest word I uttered in this post was ‘normative’. For example, obesity has become normal so we are seeing loud and proud bigger ladies flaunting their stuff. No matter how you spin it, this must be a bad thing for the human race. Yes, this puts me on the hit-list for a million screeching harpies who can control everything in their lives except their weight, but so be it. Ladies and gentlemen, rewire your brain’s reward pathways from eating to exercise, is my non-medical advice. We could eliminate half of these horrendous self-images in one fell swoop.