I wasn't online for most of today, so when I got home an hour ago and saw the furor online about #feministselfies, I had a bit of catching up to do. Trust me when I tell you that I was not in any way surprised to discover that Jezebel had stepped in it again with a pretty condescending piece about the inherent narcissism of selfies. Plus ça change!
After reading the piece though, two quotes in particular stood out to me:
"Stop this. Selfies aren't empowering; they're a high tech reflection of the fucked up way society teaches women that their most important quality is their physical attractiveness."
"Further, self-taken digital portraits are typically posted on social media, ostensibly with the intent of getting people to respon to them that's what social media is. In that respect, selfies aren't expressions of pride, but rather calls for affirmation."
Here's the thing; my own relationship with selfies is fairly complicated. I'm a photographer who doesn't think she photographs well. I actively avoid having my picture taken because I never find my portrait to be very flattering. In that regard, I've always hated "selfie culture" for almost the exact opposite reason that Jez's Erin Gloria Ryan seems to: I don't see selfies as a call for affirmation, but rather an affirmation that you don't need validation.