Are you selfie-obsessed? The rise of selfie culture and digital narcissism

If you claim to have never taken a selfie before, you’re most likely either A) about a billion years old or B) a filthy liar. Let’s be real. Selfies are the social epidemic sweeping our generation , but what do they say about us as people?selfie

Some say it’s self-seeking egotism, others see it as a positive expression of self-love and confidence. Most have probably never thought about what it means at all. We’re here to look at the debate and weigh up the pros and cons of this surge of selfie-taking.

It’s a new art form


Selfies are really nothing new. Since the 15th century people have been posing for self-portraits, sitting there for hours as somebody they’ve paid paints them and ensures they look as beautiful as possible. Then they’d take it even further by hanging up the masterpiece on their wall for everyone to admire – except nobody calls this narcissism, it’s simply art.

Are selfies not just the 21st century digitalised form of these self-portraits? Is the Mona Lisa not basically just a selfie? Sure, Leonardo da Vinci might not have added a filter and posted it all over Instagram, but millions flock to The Louvre to admire her. Perhaps mastering the art of photographing the perfect selfie deserves more credit than we are willing to give.

Isn’t it shallow, though?ari

Many are quick to call selfies shallow because they are focused upon appearance, glorify physical beauty and place superficiality on a pedestal. It can result in young people valuing themselves based on the amount of ‘likes’ their selfie gets which can cause low self-esteem – and we definitely don’t encourage that.

While it’s true – there are far more important things than the way you look, is it not possible to celebrate yourself whilst still believing you are more than your face? We are quick to judge and call those who take selfies narcissistic, but in a world where we are encouraged to aspire to unattainable levels of perfection, is self-love really that much of a crime? Maybe selfies are more body-positive than we think and are really a way of accepting ourselves (flaws included) and expressing confidence.

Why is there such a stigma?

If selfies are a way of embodying confidence, why are we so ashamed when someone catches us sneakily taking one? We’ve all been there. It’s seen as such a shameful act it’s borderline social suicide. Heck, even Kylie Jenner, queen of selfies, feels totally awks getting spotted by her brother.

Kylie in Rob Kardashian's snapchat (robphuckedme)

A post shared by Kylie Jenner Snapchats (@kylizzlesnapchats) on

The conclusion

Ultimately, we will always be worth more than the way we look. There are more important things in life than taking pictures of yourself, but after careful consideration and weighing up the pros and cons – is it really that high up on the list of awful things in the world? We doubt it.

A little bit of a selfie never hurt nobody. Whether you are the queen of posing or prefer to keep a low profile, it’s really your choice and nobody else’s.

What’s your view on the selfie debate? Self-obsession or self-love? Or something else? Let’s discuss @maximumpop

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Written by Nina John-Clement

Style writer, maths geek and positive viber who's madly in love with words. Also an aspiring member of the Swift squad.

Tweet me @TheNinaJC

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