Ahh, selfies. It’s a love hate thing in our generation and can often cause great debates. Selfies are almost like a trend which will never disappear, looking back on my life on social media, I was taking selfies back in the bebo and myspace days! Samsung has highlighted that 30% of photos taken by people from the ages of 18-24 are selfies. With this, comes the two opinions on selfies. The first being that selfies are reserved for narcissistic and vain purposes. The second opinion is that taking selfies is a tool of empowerment. Ultimately, the selfie trend cannot be overlooked, particularly in today’s day and age where everything revolves around new and highly developed technologies.

My group of friends using a selfie stick in public is probably one of the most embarrassing things we’ve done – all for a good pic though, right?!

Celebrities have mostly been placed on a pedestal by society. With ever changing and growing technologies and social media platforms, consumers get an insight of what celebrity life is like. Platforms like Snapchat and Instagram allow celebrities to post whatever they like and give a general idea of what life is like as a celebrity. Sometimes, they might post selfies and pictures which what the general populations is probable used to seeing – lazy clothes, no makeup and undone hair.

Different celebrities have posed on their social media adorning a bare face – some examples are Cindy Crawford, Emily Ratajkowski and the Kardashian’s. By posting these pictures for the world to see, it makes them seem like real life people. The ‘no makeup’ campaign has been taken on by a large majority of female celebrities. Is it not empowering of these celebrities to challenge societal expectations and be ‘normal’? The counterargument is that women shouldn’t be considered ‘brave’ for posting their bare-face, as if it’s detrimental to their career if they are shown not wearing makeup. Is makeup really essential to being a woman?

Dr. Karen Brooks highlights that it is to some degree “depressing” for women to think they are defying social norms by posting such images. We shouldn’t be leading the younger generations into thinking that being makeup free is brave or that wearing makeup is normal in itself. However, it is refreshing to see women expressing themselves however they like and making their own choices of what they post. Furthermore, should women be cautious on how we are conveying empowering messages? Choice is not empowering if we do not consider how our society perceives empowerment. Perhaps what these women are doing is just what the patriarchal society is expecting of us?

Emily Ratajkowski goes bare-faced on her instagram – @emrata

While selfies may bear the reputation of vanity, its not easy to disregard the significance of the selfie in todays society. 48% of selfies are shared on Facebook, one of the largest social media websites. People need to be aware of how selfies and public profiles are becoming brands online. Our selfies can be either the window or mirror – depending on which side you sit – into our own brands. By partaking in selfie culture, we are selling ourselves. Particularly when applying for jobs, social media is definitely an important aspect, this is why we need to consider ourselves to be a brand worth selling. We may be packaging ourselves with a few key characteristics to become appealing to our eventual buyers and to those who are just browsing (Evans, 2017). Online website Linkedin is based on creating networks all around the world, and is excellent in promoting yourself in a professional way. Websites like this in conjunction with other social medias like Facebook and Twitter where everything we post is shared to the world, it is easy to see how we are becoming branded.

It’s difficult to disregard the significance of the selfie, particularly in this day and age where there are selfies on every social media that we look at. There is little doubt that there will always be two sides to the argument over selfies and the opinions on this debate are healthy. Minority groups who post selfies can be considered ‘risqué’ and often cop criticism for posting these things, which is totally normal in this technological age. However, we cant ignore the way in why everybody has the power to brand themselves online. Finally, we should be doing whatever it is that empowers us, remembering that whatever we post will paint an image of who we are online.