‘Selfies’ promote healthy self-image despite pointless stereotype

by Whitney Carter

Regardless of popular opinion, ‘selfies’ are not bad. The rise of the so-called ‘selfie’ generation has led to an age group of innovative, independent free thinkers, and those much-scorned ‘selfies’ are helping to improve body image.

Let’s be honest, we’ve all taken the occasional ‘selfie.’ The incredible feature about ‘selfies’ is that they allow people to share what they think is beautiful. Often times, thanks to some creative posing or the invention of the forward-facing camera, this beauty is found in themselves.

The members of our generation are called millennials — Americans ages 18-33, according to a research survey done by Pew Research Study. Members of the millennial generation are typified by their digital nativeness, and they are the only generation that has not had to adapt to the Internet, mobile technology and social media.

This is the generation that pioneered the ‘selfie.’ A ‘selfie’ is “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website,” according to the Oxford dictionary. We have all seen examples, or posted them ourselves on the Internet from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Many people believe that ‘selfies’ are negative because they supposedly promote vanity and narcissism; this is evidenced by a study that supposedly supports this, according to an article by the Daily Lounge.

However, a recent campaign by feminist video blogger Laci Green has started to show how ‘selfies’ can be used to promote healthy body image for adolescents.

Rather than us seeing one image or idea of what is beautiful, for the first time, people have the ability to post what they believe to be beautiful, and are showing to the world.

In an interview with Teen Vogue, Dr. Pamela Rutledge, faculty director of the media psychology program at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology mentions that ‘selfies’ are a positive thing.

“The cult of the ‘selfie’ celebrates regular people,” Rutledge said.

I admit that I post the occasional ‘selfie’. I am not ashamed to admit that, but before looking into this, it is not something that I would broadcast. However, at this point, ‘selfies’ are a great way to celebrate what I find beautiful. and it is healthy to find yourself beautiful.

‘Selfies’ can be positive. Like most actions, an overuse can be unhealthy, or more likely, annoying to all of your friends.

While it might be hard to believe that a simple ‘selfie’ can be such a powerful tool, these self-portraits illustrate what our generation believes is relevant, what we find beautiful in the world and how powerful our desire is to share that.

Contact Whitney Carter at wcarter16@my.whitworth.edu

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