It’s the age of the ‘selfie’and I find myself sitting very uncomfortably within it. Thankfully it’s not compulsary to part-take and I know I’m in the minority and my ‘anti-selfie’ club will be very small. How did we become so self-absorbed? What did we do before? Go around armed with snapshots of ourselves in various outfits, standing in front of mirrors, handing them out to all and sundry or just pop them in the post daily? Can you imagine the cost of the stamps alone, never mind the energy involved in distribution? If I’m totally honest, I’m not completely anti-selfies, as it’s lovely to see a happy, spontaneous shot of someone enjoying an occasion or a group just captured in the moment, instead of a premeditated, airbrushed, filtered image. These are the ones that get my seal of approval. Once, while in Prague with my husband, we chanced taking a few selfies (granted, after a couple of drinks), we wanted to capture the medieval astronomical clock in the background. Suffice to say our efforts never saw the light of day. The one I was happy with, he didn’t like and vice versa. We didn’t spend too long arguing about it and certainly didn’t waste any more time posing for the perfect pic. Aside from body confidence, what prompts us to prep and repeatedly pose for the perfect picture to cybershare? Maybe it’s a generation thing and those of us over a certain age who haven’t got to grips with photoshop yet, cant be arsed to learn or have better things to do with our time.
I am someone who HATES having my photo taken. Now if Jennifer Aniston said that, her reason would most likely be that she values her privacy and doesn’t want to be papped taking out the bins etc (Does Jennifer do that?) but in my case, I just don’t want my flaws and imperfections laid bare. Nobody needs that in their life. This fear of the camera extended to our wedding photos, my favourite ones are those that caught us and our guests enjoying the occasion unawares. Of course there had to be several obligatory group shots but I don’t look at these ones very often and recoil in horror at the close-ups! (Of me, not my guests!) I do love when the photo albums are dug out and dusted off from the wooden chest where they live. We get to reminisce over long forgotten happy occasions, while also lamenting the fact that our children have grown up too quickly. I can honestly say, none of these photographs are selfies. Will my children have a chest full of photos to open on a wet day and enjoy an indulgent trip down memory lane when they are grown ups? I don’t think so, as since the birth of the smart phone, who prints photos? I am guilty of this. My phone contains hundreds of photos and I can assure you they will stay on the phone and probably just disappear into a black hole once I get my next upgrade. We did invest in a good camera a couple of years ago to capture our children’s lives in better quality but these too are on a cloud somewhere and who knows if they will ever make it to the albums in the chest, let alone hang proudly on a wall. Maybe we need to up our game and factor in some time for this, although I can imagine the in-house arguing over which ones are fit to hang for public scrutiny. My husband and I have very few photos of the two of us together, it’s not a reflection of our togetherness. He is very happy to be the cameraman (that Nikon is worn round his neck with pride at sporting events) and I would rather chew off my leg than pose, so that’s that. I suppose the selfie brigade get a certain amount of satisfaction with the number of likes and positive comments racked up, perhaps it boosts their self-esteem, so maybe I shouldn’t be so pass remarkable. There’s always a flip side though to putting yourself out there and I hope that they have enough self-esteem to cope with any negativity.
I do worry that in years to come, the babies being born today will conclude that anyone not sporting a duck pout or standing side-on with hand on hip and derriere protruding, is ‘abnormal’. They might look on the stance as a step in the journey of mans’ evolution and begin to adopt it straight from the cradle. Actually I think some toddlers are ahead of the game and are mimicking their role-models already, go figure! Should we worry about the already developing provocative lip pouting poses of these little ones? Maybe, maybe not, they are the innocent ones, its everybody else we should be wary of, perhaps I’m over thinking the issue…
I find that the moment someone shouts, ‘get in for a photo’, my face freezes, I don’t know how to arrange my features, my face takes on a life of its’ own, and I don’t even recognise myself in the end result! You see, in my head, I’m still twenty five….It’s like when you look in a mirror and realise that the anti-aging product you paid a fortune for and promised you untold beauty was all a load of bollocks. I think some people are just very photogenic and others (me) are not and as long as I know this, I promise I won’t be clogging up your timeline with various mugshots of myself.
If I don’t get over this fear of the photo, my children might have a hard time finding a suitable mug shot of me in my advancing years to stick on the funeral order of service! – Just Sayin‘