The word of the year


Jezebel has a rude piece about selfies and the claim that they “empower” women and girls. It’s rude but it makes a real point.

…self-taken digital portraits are typically posted on social media, ostensibly with the intent of getting people to respond to them — that’s what social media is. In that respect, selfies aren’t expressions of pride, but rather calls for affirmation. In real life, walking up to a stranger, tilting your head downward at a 45-degree angle, duckfacing, pushing your tits together, and screaming “DO YOU THINK I’M PRETTY!” would be [a cue to] summon the authorities.

Let me put it this way: do you see men and boys tilting their heads down and duckfacing to take selfies? If not, why do you think that is?

You know who was really good at that tilting the head down and looking upward thing? Diana Spencer. She must have spent hours in front of the mirror perfecting it.

Comments

  1. Silentbob says

    (off topic)

    You know who was really good at that tilting the head down and looking upward thing? Diana Spencer. She must have spent hours in front of the mirror perfecting it.

    Actually, in that case I think it was a fairly typical mannerism of people who are both tall and shy, not an affectation.
    (/off topic)

  2. Jason Dick says

    Yeah. I definitely feel that selfies of the, “Do you think I’m pretty?” variety are a manifestation of the fact that most of our culture values women’s appearance over pretty much everything else about them.

  3. says

    You know who was really good at that tilting the head down and looking upward thing?

    Hitler?

    Sorry, had to play…

    You know, I actually took a million selfies when I was in Malta a few months ago. Mainly because I wanted pics of me in nice places, and had noone to take them for or with me, and I imagine some women may take selfies for the same reason. None of mine ever got posted on social media, because they are for me and my memories, not to boast or beg for approving comments.

    But yeah, that Jezebel article was fairly stupid.

  4. khms says

    I had yet another WTF moment from that article:

    fact: if you do not compliment the women who passed the Marine infantry test, you put yourself at risk for quick — but very painful — death

    So – a Marine is, pretty much by definition, a sadistic bully killer? (And don’t “just a joke” me, I’ve seen similar sentiments often enough before.)

    Somehow, lots of people in the US seem to be proud of having assholes in their military. I don’t get it.

  5. Nathair says

    Somehow, lots of people in the US seem to be proud of having assholes in their military. I don’t get it.

    It’s the equivalent of parading your “pit bull” through the neighbourhood using a fifteen pound length of padlocked two inch chain as a leash and collar; a toughness proxy for the chronically insecure.

  6. says

    That is a horrid article and no, the quote above is not a good point, it’s a horrible one. It might be a good point if it was a discussion about how socially constructed images are influencing people’s self-expression, but it isn’t. Instead, it is a) expressing superiority over people who express themselves as just “seeking affirmation”. And what the hell is wrong with that? Everyone looks for self-affirmation to varying degrees. And b) it’s a false dichotomy. An expression of pride can of course also be a call for affirmation or it can’t. And c) what would make “an expression of pride” a good thing?

  7. hanmeng says

    You know who was really good at that tilting the head down and looking upward thing? Diana Spencer. She must have spent hours in front of the mirror perfecting it.

    What the hell? Yes, all the adulation for this woman was silly. But this remark says more about you than about anyone else.

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