Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The New "Me" Generation: Selfies, Selfishness, and the Unending Desire for Instant Gratification

The fact that the word "selfie" is not only now in our everyday vernacular but also in the dictionary says it all. We are living in an age when children to grandparents and especially everyone in between is totally comfortable announcing they want attention and they want it now. From Instagram "likes" to Facebook friends (though it's clear Facebook is at the end of the race here) to Twitter retweets, we seem to have answered the age-old forest/tree question. Indeed, if no one sees you smiling with your friends...or popping bottles in Ibiza or looking hot in your bikini on the beach or eating your blueberry-topped oatmeal for breakfast, it may as well have not happened. And what good is doing something, even if it's literally just living your life, if you're not getting credit for it? Apparently, none at all.

Self-portraits were once reserved for photographers like Cindy Sherman and fine artists on a quest for  deeper introspection. No more. In honor of the unapologetically (and often sickeningly) self-absorbed, contentedly, comically voyeuristic world we live in, where those who reign on social media ("How many followers do you have?") are instantaneously named king, and already-made celebrities are still at the top of the totem pole, here is a mini-retrospective of "selfies," from conscious commentary to the commented upon: 

"Meiselpic" by Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia, December 2009

"Selfie Absorbed" by Emmer Summerton for W Magazine, March 2014

Miscellaneous celebrity selfies (self-taken and otherwise), via Instagram and Twitter
Lindsay Lohan


Amanda Bynes

 Candice Swanepoel

Demi Moore

Miley Cyrus

Jessica Simposon

Cara Delevingne

Kim Kardashian

Taylor Swift and Hailee Steinfeld

"Pillow Tweets" by Mert & Marcus for W Magazine, March 2014

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