Monday, October 14, 2013

In Defense of the "Selfie."

I would like to say a word or two in defense of the much-maligned photographic self-portrait, or "selfie." A facebook friend recently made this comment about selfies:  
"You can pretty much tell how self obsessed, narcissistic and in love with one's self, by the amount of selfies they post in a day. Any more than 3 is just too many. It is no wonder these people are single."
Well, now first of all, it must be noted that some of us who are guilty of posting too many selfies actually ARE married, not single.  So, there's that.

But what of the charge of narcissism?  Of self love?  Are these charges valid?  I submit to you that they are not necessarily valid.  Without further delay, then, here are some reasons I think that posting selfies is okay.

1.  We are made in God's image.  How cool is this?  I think that we can be pardoned for occasionally letting this amazing fact overwhelm us, with the glorious fruition of that overwhelming being ... a selfie.

2.  Posting an image of oneself is not necessarily a comment on other people.  Folks take and post selfies for all sorts of reasons, I imagine.  One reason I do is for documention of how I look.  This is necessary for the hobby of bodybuilding.  Without it, one becomes lost.  Granted, not all of these documentary photos need to be posted.  But it is convenient to do so in an online journal, and so I consider it valid.

3.  Others actually may be interested.  I like (and on facebook, Like) the selfies my friends take.  The more the merrier.  Bring them on!  I also like pictures of what you are eating, clever words you spelled in Scrabble, etc.  I love it all.  Please continue to post it.

4.  Although some selfies are artless, this need not be the case.  We are all familiar with the one-arm-extended MySpace-style selfie.  But this does not define or limit the genre.  You would be amazed at the selfies you can take if you simply get hold of a tripod and a camera with a delay timer.
5.  There is a rich artistic heritage of selfies.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C

Exhibit D:

Exhibit E:

Q. E. D.