United States

House M.D. is my thing. I like Star Wars. The Fault in Our Stars...ugh.

Message to Readers

Anything that I can do to improve this?

I Loathe My Selfie

March 15, 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? Let’s say a selfie is posted with the caption: ‘Had a bad day’ when in reality that bad day had a deeper meaning of ‘My boyfriend dumped me’ or something along those lines, causing people to ask questions because they have a feeling that there is a deeper meaning. The long term effect of that is that their bad day will be there in the form of a photo commemorating it.

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 a person takes a selfie and posts it online and tries to show themselves as different from others, they are ridiculed for being different or the same. There is no in between; but what I find funny is 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. Even if you absolutely think that your idea is original, there is a possibility that someone has already thought of it and tried to execute it, whether successfully or not. Selfies are not original because almost everyone takes them. Regardless of the setting or face, there is no originality because someone, somewhere has already thought of it.

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 rib cages are clearly visible.

By posting these pictures it attracts others judgement because it’s anonymous so anyone can say anything without any repercussions. This can begin or worsen an eating disorder because if it’s a rude comment it could lead to the decline in self-esteem causing a person to think less of themselves. If it’s a nice comment from an ‘Ana Buddy’ or someone who thinks they look good, then they would think that they are doing something right and would continue with their self-destruction.

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. They don’t want their ‘Ana Buddy’ seeing their body check or food diary on Instagram and noticing that they might have gained some weight.

The argument 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. Criticism of one’s physical self can lead to emotional distress about how they look, which is the internal damage. This can lead to self-harm and eating disorders, which is the external damage.

Granted, there are some benefits to taking a selfie. One, is if you think that you look really good. That could boost your self-esteem. Another is that others could think you look good, and that could also help boost your self-esteem. 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 anyone else has said about you might stay in your mind forever.

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? When you choose your pose it’s like trying on a new outfit. You might not like it, so you try another and another until you find something that fits you.

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 you 'messed up' and punished yourself.

Words can break someone down and cause them to do harmful things to themselves because they feel so inferior to everyone else. They see a picture of someone who they think is good-looking based on our society’s standards of ‘attractive’ or ‘beautiful’ and don’t feel like they are even comparable based on what other people have said to them. That’s why I believe selfies are harmful.


See History

Login or Signup to provide a comment.