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I Loathe My Selfie

March 11, 2015

When you hear the word 'selfie', what comes to mind? Does it really make you think of someone who took a picture of themselves with their front-facing camera, or is there a deeper meaning that has a long term effect?

In the word 'selfie' there is the word 'self' and 'ie', which in Latin (according to dictionary.com) is an abbreviation of id est, which means 'that is'. Now technically speaking, the word selfie actually translates to 'self that is'. As I look at this strange saying, it really makes me think: "Self that is what?" To answer that question, you really have to find out what that 'what' is. Beautiful, strong, abnormal? But in reality, that 'what' can be anything you want it to be, and that's what I feel people are taking advantage of or misinterpreting.

When someone takes a selfie and posts it online and tries to show themself as different from others, they are ridiculed for being different or the same. There is no inbetween; but what I find funny is that when they try to be different from the rest they are still the same. Every single selfie is a derivative from the next. There is no originality in taking selfies.

Taking a selfie is prompting others to judge you. This can lead to self-esteem issues and other psychological problems such as anorexia nervosa. Sites such as Instagram give people the power to create an anonymous account and post pictures of themselves called 'body checks' and they plan a food diary, saying how much they ate and the calories it contained, and how much they worked out that day. This gives anyone the ability to say hurtful things, either to themselves or another person struggling with this disorder. Some even encourage each other to fast! Others will instead ask for an 'Ana Buddy', which is a nickname for anorexia. From the accounts I've seen, they post images of very thin models with the hashtag 'thinspiration', where the models hip bones, collar bones, spines and ribe cages are clearly visible.

Anorexia has also been linked to self harm. Of 1,500 people who were diagnosed with an eating disorder, about 41% had admitted to self harm. With some who are anorexic, they feel like they have failed when they binged or ate a little too much. In result, they might make themselves purge or self harm as punishment.

The arguement for the selfie is a very difficult one, indeed. In my opinion, some say that it's not hurting anyone and that those who do choose to post photos of themselves online should be left alone. Others might feel that selfies are not good for anyone and that they can causes internal and external damage to the individual, which includes low self esteem and being linked to personality disorders such as narcissism. Honestly, I believe that it depends on the person. If someone feels like showing themself off, then I am all for it; but if it is causing harm to the individual or others, then I believe that the selfie should not be welcomed whether it be the person causing harm to themselves or someone else causing them harm.


Yes, when you take a photo of yourself it is a type of self-exploration and this is helping you figure out who you are. Are you the one who is always making a duck face, smiling, or just likes to show off how many double-chins you can make? Yet, there is a point when 'just taking a selfie' can go too far--like saying that you're ugly and you'll post again once you've taken a really long run or purged or that you 'over ate' and that you 'messed up' and punished yourself.

Granted, there are some benefits to taking a selfie. One is that if you think that you look really good, then that could boost your self esteem. Another is that others could think that you look good, and that could also help boost your self esteem; but in the long run whatever good feeling you have when you read or hear those comments might only last a little while, and everything bad that anyone else has said about you might stay in your mind forever.

We live in a society where looks are everything. People judge you based on how you look, and that really takes a toll on you, especially if you already had low self esteem and no confidence to begin with. Words can break someone down and cause them to do harmful things to themselves because they feel so inferior to everyone else, which is why I think selfies are hurting not only the person, but society as a whole.


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