Rethinking What Selfies Say

Millennials have been combating many of the stereotypes about them, but thanks in part to their love of selfies, they seem to be fueling the belief that they are more narcissistic than any generation that came before. However, selfies might not be as narcissistic as they first seem. An onlooker scrolling through various social media profiles is bound to find many a duck face, mirror body shot, and flawless (albeit filtered) portrait staring back at them, but the selfie trend is more than just a stage for face time. New projects and campaigns are showing the other side of the selfie, and how it can be a tool of empowerment for some.
 
This generation is using selfies as a way to document their everyday lives, as those throughout history have done before with self-portraiture, but is also using them to convey emotion and personalize their experiences. Dove decided to look underneath the surface of selfies to uncover what it means to take an “honest selfie” in their latest campaign. Their documentary short Selfie challenged young girls and their mothers to snap honest self-portraits of themselves: “No duckface. No lighting tricks. Just one person, as they are, in front of the camera.” Taking these shots put the power of perception in their hands, letting them re-define what they consider beautiful about themselves for a newfound sense of self-confidence. Insecurities turned into unique traits, which became the new markers of beauty.
 
The campaign begged the question: can a selfie be empowering? 82% of women believe that social media influences how we define modern beauty. The amount of friends and “likes” on social media, and in real life, inescapably impacts self-esteem for teens today, and selfies have become a way to portray emotion and point of view with a simple image.…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “A lot of people stay in jobs they hate. They feel stuck or need the money. I refuse to do this. I just gave up a Nursing career to be a CSR and I have never been happier.”—Female, 27, IN

YouTube is cracking down on creators that participate in dangerous viral challenges. The media giant updated their community guidelines to take a stronger stance against stunts that spin out of control—like the Tide Pod Challenge. Any creator that performs “pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger” will earn a strike—three and they’re out. What could constitute a strike? Just ask Jake Paul, who recently drove blindfolded for the #BirdBoxChallenge. (The Verge)

The inner five-year-old of Millennials everywhere is jumping up and down for Hot Topic’s Polly Pocket collab. In partnership with Mattel, the brand that wins at delivering unique styles is dropping a 17-piece collection of nostalgic merch. (The line looks a lot like another throwback collection we called out last year.) In celebration of the iconic toy’s 30th birthday (feel old yet?), ‘90s kids can cop everything from bags to hats to mini makeup palettes that feature shades like “Made in the 90s.” (Nylon)

YouTubers Life OMG! is like The Sims for a generation of aspiring social media stars. Players can pretend to be a video game streamer, a passionate creative, or another influencer. But the game is just as realistic as the kids who play it, making them do chores and deliver newspapers when they’re off the air. Similarly, most kids seem to know the dream is not a full-time gig; just take it from nine-year-old Oliver, who explains, “Of course I will have a good job as well, not just YouTube." (Vice)

Big brands are swooping in to save young shoppers from 2018’s oat milk shortage. The buzzy beverage has become the environmentally friendly alternative to almond milk for Millennial & Gen Z shoppers seeking dairy-free and vegan options. It became a barista favorite this year, mainly thanks to industry upstart, Oatly, which is opening a new factory to up their production. But they better hurry: big brands like Pepsi Co.’s Quaker Oats, Danone’s Silk, and Califia Farms are all getting in on this grain-based trend. (Bloomberg)

The most old-fashioned form of TV is experiencing a surge: over-the-air. While the Post-TV Gen continue to cut the cord, more are buying physical antennas to tap free networks and watch live events. Nielsen data found that this kind of old-school appointment viewing jumped from 9% of all homes in 2010 to 14% last year. Diving deeper into that 14%, about three in five also subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, and their median age is 36. (Fortune)

Quote of the Day: “I’d rather do a job I'm passionate about for a lower salary than do a high-paying but low-rewarding job.”—Male, 18, MA

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