Selfie Shaming

Why does society place a negative stigma on selfies? And what does that say about how we perceive young women? With our discussion on Tuesday and Thursday, we did not really address the gender assumptions that are associated with selfies. Are selfies inherently gendered? I honestly think that they are. Selfies are usually attributed to young girls and women, which is just another reason for society to basically “shit” on women. I’ve seen numerous comments and articles that demean women and girls for taking selfies. They usually say something along the lines of “Selfies are the result of a generation linked to social media, a generation that is wasting away” or “Females that post selfies online are searching for approval and want someone to acknowledge them in some way.”┬áIt is funny that men are not as criticized when they post selfies on their social media sites. Again women are attacked for expressing something about themselves instead of being praised. I’m not saying that selfies should be praised, but we should not criticize women for things that everyone takes part in. Selfies are not only a female phenomenon, and they are not only a meaningless photo posted to social media. They can be monuments of accomplishments (a woman completing a marathon) or snapshots of memories (a woman that just gave birth to her first child). Not all selfies are duck faces and empty smiles, so we should not group them together and generalize their value based off of the few that exhibit those characteristics.

1 comment on “Selfie ShamingAdd yours →

  1. I think your post goes really well with Haley Atkin’s commentary on selfies (http://hayleyatkins.net/uncategorized/stance-on-selfies/#comments) particularly on your consideration of men and selfies. From yours and Haley’s post, I looked for ways in which men feel pressured when taking selfies, and when they don’t take selfies. From my personal experiences, I’ve felt a stigma against producing selfies because of many factors: 1) I don’t have the “perfect body” nor the wester features that qualifies for “good” selfies, 2) there’s significant disdain towards selfies from imperfect bodies or selfies that lack substance/purpose, 3) I don’t subscribe heavily enough to social media to contribute to the phenomenon. To expand on my second point, I agree with you in that selfies are inherently gendered as they are often used trivially by women, and for men to partake in such a triviality is to be vulnerable. Indeed, I find that the selfie phenomenon is void of white male contributors, making it a space for the Other (regardless of gender, as long as they have markers of the Other) to assert themselves. As with spaces occupied by the Other, selfies are then criticized and devalued (similarly to how Twitter and Tumblr activism are dismissed). So while I think selfies are gendered, it’s also othered, and is much more complex than just an avenue for women to occupy themselves with.

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