A tit on slim selfies (not slim shady)

by The word tit

selfie

The selfie.

Possibly the most frustratingly ALWAYS PRESENT trend of the last year.

You’re either scrolling through them on instagram, reading an article about how they are now inexplicably the root cause of all our body dysmorphia, or accidentally taking one of yourself.

(Side note – there is truly nothing worse than trying to take a genuine ‘outside world’ photo and realising the camera is still flipped to show only your face. Every time this happens i have to spend a few fraught moments trying to run through who may have seen me from that angle – ever – and whether there is any remote possibility that they may have lasting evidence. The conclusion is generally no. But nevertheless, a panic each time)

I have grown to hate the actual word ‘selfie’. Basically every brand from every category has or will try to tap into this ‘youth’ trend because a middle aged marketer in a suit wants to reach an audience of 18-25 year olds who they think have nothing better to do with their time than upload pictures of themselves in various degrees of cringe for free shit (because seemingly this is a correct assumption). Though even if it’s predictability is annoying, it’s popular – because taking a selfie to win prizes = a justifiable excuse. Just like taking a selfie to raise awareness of a charity also became a justifiable excuse, and hey presto – you’ve raised 8 million pounds for Cancer Research (and a bit extra for the polar bears. Hurrah for autocorrect).

Yep – why taking a photo of yourself is such a draw is something I have many theories about – but really, I think it’s primarily harmless – a toxic combination of a flattering angle and a selection of ever-forgiving filters (Mayfair especially I can only recommend) meaning that it’s a legitimate chance to present the best image of yourself to people who’s opinion you care about. Yes of course it can go too far, as Danny Bowman found when he found himself on the ‘quest for perfection’ that led him to pose for over 200 selfies a day. But – you shouldn’t base an opinion of something on it’s wild extremities – just like how we shouldn’t judge people who like a clean house on the existence of those with extreme OCD who appear on early evening Channel 4 documentaries waxing lyrical about their favourite flavour of bleach. You can’t judge behaviour on it’s outermost extremes, it’s nonsensical at best – and at its worst, is the kind of attitude which breeds intolerance. I agree that a slow stream of faces resembling goldfish (for it’s cheekbone enhancing capabilities) gets tedious, I do not agree that is a sign that technology has meant that we have all reached a point of total self obsession beyond reason. Portraiture has been around since the beginning of time and was always a way to present oneself in the best light, as well as a way to convey power and status. That shit’s just got a lot easier now there’s an app for it.

To that end, I think the controversy surrounding the launch of new app ‘SkinneePix’, which promises to make you look like you’ve lost weight at the mere click of a button, is going overboard. Is there truly that much difference between artfully angling the camera downwards, upping the contrast, and applying a soft lighting filter to downloading an app which has overall a similar, not-real-life slimming effect? There’s always ways to present images of yourself depending on what’s required. In order to reduce pressure on girls both old and young, we should be looking to root causes – the way health and fitness is still marketed to women as an arena of calorie deprivation and ‘gradual toning’, compared to men who are fed messaging of ‘building’ and ‘loading’, for example. An app which basically does quicker what we do already is not to blame.

That’s not to say it’s worth 69p though. Just increase the intensity of your duck face instead.