The Not-So-Selfie Selfie
I read a very interesting article this morning on the history of selfies by Jerry Saltz. It made me think about all the selfies I have taken in the past and how they really aren’t a part of the selfie genre he talks about. My selfies are more posed and composed–definitely more of a true self-portrait than the selfies currently in favor with the Instagram generation.
In this new art form, selfies (according to Saltz) are “A fast self-portrait, made with a smartphone’s camera and immediately distributed and inscribed into a network, is an instant visual communication of where we are, what we’re doing, who we think we are, and who we think is watching.”
“These are not like the self-portraits we are used to. Setting aside the formal dissimilarities between these two forms—of framing, of technique—traditional photographic self-portraiture is far less spontaneous and casual than a selfie is.”
Saltz further distinguishes the selfie: “If both your hands are in the picture and it’s not a mirror shot, technically, it’s not a selfie—it’s a portrait.”
The selfies I take (mostly with my camera on a tripod) are in focus and cropped, manipulated and made as perfect as I can manage. I guess they are “not-so-selfie” selfies even though I refer to them that way. Unlike the selfies Saltz describes, I never share photos of myself immediately (or otherwise) on social media. I guess I am just too inhibited and too much a perfectionist with my photography and self-image. Am I really that vain? Um. Yes. I am.
Looking at selfies taken by others is great fun and there are some incredible images to see (and a lot of really awful ones–that means you Kim Kardashian and Anthony Weiner), but I guess I am too set in my own ways to let it all go and post a true selfie. Except for maybe this one, taken while riding in our convertible this past weekend…
Hmmmm. On second thought, I decided not to post it. I told you I was a perfectionist and anyway, I thought my hair looked kinda weird. And those wrinkles! Where in the hell did they come from?
No wonder selfies are a product of the younger generation.