My Problem With Selfies

I’m not the biggest fan in the world of taking selfies. When the Asian wedding season(s) are upon us, I know it’ll be the very few times in a year that I’ll take them. My birthday is the only other time I’m happy taking selfies. In my phone gallery, I have around 1,000-2,000 photographs. These are mostly memes, screenshots, quotes and not even a half equates to the amount of selfies I have on my phone.

I have a serious problem with selfies and that’s nothing to do with materialism. I feel the opposite way, I am all for taking selfies especially when I see people who are are loving how they look, whether au naturale or they’ve dressed up. If you’re feeling yourself, take one!

My issue(s, to be clear) is that I could take ten different selfies, in ten different poses, in ten different angles, in ten different lightings and I will not look the same in a single picture! Why?! Why?! My features are such that they’re easily mouldable and that can be a great thing if I was a foot taller and a model.

At this point, I don’t even look like me in videos (at least that’s what people say-a-ay, ay-ay…). No, at this point, I don’t think I’m aware of how I even look. People usually have a different opinion of how I look too. I don’t even know what my skin tone is because some people say I’m light and others say olive and some more say I’m tanned. To average it out (thanks Maths!) I just say that I’m olive because even olive has variations.

Recently, I attended two weddings; one of a family member and the other of my mums best friends son who, by the way, on the journey to the wedding venue got us lost because he wanted to show off his car and take a cruise. During both these weddings, I took numerous, countless selfies and I came to this realisation: up close – angel, far away – the devil incarnate. When I take up close selfies, I look like an angel with my sharp jawline, round cheeks and soft eyes. I am innocence personified. Now, take a full picture of me: my eyes are direct, even predatory, my entire form looks like the devil incarnate. I look like the kind of person who takes over your life and everything in it. Whilst some may say I look sexy, which, fine, is very nice to hear, I tend to prefer cute over sexy. Sexy is for the special areas and cute is for the heart, for me, personally (don’t get wound up).

I just don’t understand how just a small matter of distance can make such a difference to how somebody looks. I am having to go to various lengths to try and attempt to be as authentic as possible and I feel like it’s an impossible feat at this rate. I used to not even like to allow people who don’t already know me and how I look to follow me on Instagram, especially as you know if they might have a special kind of interest. But I can’t. I can’t anymore. It’s so much effort for something that’s not as important. So, I will take them however I want and that’s just going to be the way it is, ainsi sera (but I keep moving, can’t stop, won’t stop grooving).

On a side note, feel free to follow me on Instagram: sophismaax. (Without the full-stop/period). I just realised I have a flower on my caption, that needs to go down no matter the aesthetics because it’s just not me.

Let me know what your problem(s) with selfies are!

Sophski out.

[Photo credit belongs to freepik]

22 Comments

  1. I don’t take too many selfies, Soph, but not because I’m morally opposed to them or anything. If selfies are someone’s thing, selfie away I say! What I have a problem with is what they represent: extreme overinfatuation with ourselves. If people spent one fourth the amount of time working to ease the suffering of others that they do to engaging in selfieworthy adventures with their friends & kin, the world would be a much nicer place to live.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I understand what you’re saying, there is a point where if you get too obsessed with taking selfies, you run the risk of becoming over-infatuated with yourself (unless of course if blogging is your job and the aesthetics are a part of it). However, it’s hard to truly know what someone’s intentions are, sometimes they may have just discovered their self-confidence. I do believe you can take a lot of selfies and still make charitable contributions to causes and society, in fact, for Muslims we are encouraged to keep it hidden unless you believe you can do it clean-heartedly and genuinely do it to motivate and inspires others to follow in your steps. Truth is we really can’t know whether they’re spending time and money to ease the suffering of others unless we directly know them. But, yes, being good should always be far more important than self-obsession.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t take much selfies, but when I was travelling, my dear talented friend started filming us to make a vlog. This made me extremely uncomfortable, and not gonna lie cried a few times in solitude. I barely recognized the face in those videos and I hated it too. My whole illusion of who I am and what I look like was shattered. But it did inspire me for a new project/challenge that I will soon put together and share. I think you’d be an excellent person to participate as well. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, I’m sorry you feel that way. 😞 Sometimes we have no idea how we really look (because even mirrors offer a distorted reality) until we see ourselves in video. Perhaps, I’m just speculating here,it is the shock of how different you look from the mirror image is? I know that if I felt I looked good in selfies and in the mirror and then saw a different image on video after having set our expectations to an attractive amount, anything that we perceive below it can devastate us. But I’m sure you really are beautiful! ❤️
      The project/challenge sounds amazing, I’d love to read more about it and will stay tuned for news! 😊 x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes all true, the image in the mirror is flipped. There is however a true mirror that shows you how other people see you… For me it was the utter dissociation from that image that was shocking. How I didn’t even recognize her, because I never even saw myself from that angle. I feel like I didn’t know her and I don’t even fully know myself. How what I think I am is totally different from what other people see/think. I am not on the same page as myself or the people around me. And that’s a little disturbing.

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  3. I try to stay on the operating side of the lens. However, I have to also be able to direct the model. Basic tips,
    If you want to make it bigger then move it closer to the lens.
    Example. I have a client who thinks her chest is too small and her hips are too wide. To make her happy with her portrait I will have her turn her hips away from the lens while keeping her shoulders squared towards the lens. I would encourage her to arch her back slightly in order to raise her chest. The effect is that her chest will look fuller and her hips smaller. Especially if she can lean foreword while doing so.
    The idea is that cameras don’t see the world the way we do and so sometimes we have to trick the camera. YouTube has hours of video on how to pose for portraits.
    Skin tone. The temperature of the light has a lot to do with your skin color in the lens. I have a selfie of my wife and I in front of a waterfall. I used a long exposure to make the water smooth and silky and the falls turned out gorgeous. However, the mercury gas inside the streetlights made our skin look like we were Martians on an earth vacation. I’m darker than most European caucasians but I am a white man and not a Martian. I prefer to work in natural light for a true skin color but when I can’t I use daylight balanced LED lights. The angle of the light also effects the image. Harsh light from a high angle can accentuate the nose. My wife is self-conscious about the width of her nose so I have to be careful about that as well.

    Overall, the portraits that I’m most happy with are the ones that I get when the subject isn’t expecting it. When working a crowd I will use a long lens and wait for the right pose to happen naturally. The subject is relaxed and doesn’t look like an impression of themselves.
    All women are beautiful. It’s my job to not screw up that beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like this idea: “I have a client who thinks her chest is too small and her hips are too wide. To make her happy with her portrait I will have her turn her hips away from the lens while keeping her shoulders squared towards the lens. I would encourage her to arch her back slightly in order to raise her chest. The effect is that her chest will look fuller and her hips smaller.” From your perspective, it is important to deliver what the client wants and that’s a message I learnt watching Top Model, letting people decide what they want from themselves. Great tips and I’m definitely learning from this especially with regards to the lighting advice! Also, what is considered natural lighting for photographs? Which settings offer the most authenticity?
      You must post a picture of the waterfall, the descriptions sounds … therapeutic. 😊 A shame about you and your poor wife though!
      And I agree! Candid photography is the best photography! It is the most authentic really.
      Yes, indeed, all woman are beautiful. Everyone is beautiful. “There are no ugly people, only ugly souls.”

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      1. Natural light is just what it sounds like. Light that comes from nature. The sun, the moon ( I have not shot in moonlight though) and fire or candle light.
        I try to get to know my clients prior to the shoot. Anyone with a camera can duplicate your face but it’s a special skill set to make the photos bring out your personality.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah, you know I always disregarded the sun as an inaccurate filter (even though the sun can be the best filter really) because it somehow manages to make me 10x more attractive. 🤣
          What is someone has a terrible personality?! Lol.

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  4. Apparently I don’t take selfies lol. I went through my phone right now and I have zero pictures of me, alone. I would say I’m too shy and self-conscious to even take a selfie (which is sort of true haha), but I don’t really see the point. Unless, I’m standing in front of some spectacular place and I have to take a picture of myself there lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Woah, woah, woah! Hold up, what? First smelling rocks and now no selfies? But I’m loving your reasoning, you should do it if it makes sense to you and I’m sure when you do, you’ll be just as spectacular as that spectacular place! 👸🏽

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I dislike selfies as they represent “overinfatuation with ourselves” as a previous reader has noted. Yes, we all like to see pictures of ourselves, occasionally, dressed up nicely and looking our best. But looking at too many pictures of your head can really start to mess with it. The social media frenzy surrounding selfies and people vandalizing age-old monuments just for those extra ‘likes’ is, frankly, disgusting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re definitely right that ruining monuments and historical locations all because you want to get likes on social media is incredibly stupid and overly-materialistic. Selfies for that purpose as you and Denny have pointed out is an “over infatuation with ourselves” and can lead to a selfish society who ironically seek validation. There are pros and cons to many things, if it is used right and sparingly, it can be a great way to capture memories and simply share your experiences with your loved ones. It’s really about context, it can be seriously wrong and at times it can be warm and wonderful. Definitely, topics like this would be great for teens to be taught in school so they know how to be more responsible and respectful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally agree with your idea that context really matters before passing a judgement on anything. Selfies are very effective tools to share memorable moments with loved ones. However, on a lighter note, no offense intended to anyone, many photographers have gone out of their way to describe selfies as a disgrace to photography since they distort facial contours and are often not the highest quality images around. 😉

        I’m still working on the award post. Thanks again for deeming me worthy of it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, you’re completely right on the accuracy of selfies… it really can distort facial contours and, with apps available to us, we can even distort our features ourselves. And then there’s the privacy angle… which is the scariest.
          Selfies: use sparingly, responsibly and healthily.
          Take your time, I know you have your exams, there’s no rush. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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