In the words of Ru Paul, “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”. It’s safe to say that you could get away with calling our society self-obsessed. With the rise in technological advances and the age of social media, more of us have taken to sharing our lives online with total strangers. It started simple enough with selfies of ourselves our with our friends. Over the last few years, sharing your life online has become a profitable way of ranking in millions of dollars. We’re each creating a digital footprint, like a time capsule of our lives, becoming more open with each change in social media.
Taking the perfect selfie has become an artform. We all know the way to turn our head to hide a double chin or to give us Angelina Jolie worthy cheekbones. We each have a favourite filter that we automatically apply to our photos. We’re editing our selfies to within an inch of their lives. Gone are the days when you took a selfie before a big event – now we take them everywhere. Museums have even had to put a ban on selfie-taking due to the disruption they’ve caused and almost every public institution and theme park has banned the infamous selfie stick.
Ever since the magazines started to photoshop their cover models, our days of self-declared perfectionisms were ahead of us. Fast forward thirty years and you can download photoshop directly to your iPhone and do the same amount of editing as any magazine photographer to your selfie. We all know someone who looks drastically different on their Instagram feed compared to how they look in real life.
Before we were calling them selfies, we have the MySpace pictures. These came around in the mid to late 2000s, when MySpace was at its height and we were all taking photos on the crappy cameras of our flip phones to post as our profile picture. When smartphones made their way into the mainstream in the early 2000s, we started to up our selfie game.
After all, the camera that is now in our smartphones is of a similar quality to professional DSLR cameras. Fast forward a few years, and the age of influencers came around in the early 2010s, when selfies became monetised. The right influencer could (and certainly does) charge thousands of dollars to post a selfie of them wearing or mentioning a product by a brand. Who would have thought the wholesome selfie to capture a moment in time would become the new form of advertising?
Within a few years, the age of filters was upon us. These filters could allow you to change your look at the swipe of your phone screen. Whether you wanted to see what you might look like at 60 years older if you wanted to add bunny ears, these filters continue to get more advance.
We spend our lives online and our selfies have become our virtual selves. Gone are the days when a selfie was for your close friend and family, now it’s a reflection of how you want yourself seen by the world.
What do you think about the evolution of the selfie? Do you think we’re going to become even more obsessed with filter and editing our photos?