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

“I think we have a tendency to think that the world revolves around us and what we want and having a hard time to live up to the standards of having/living a perfect life.”—Female, 22, WA

A new quiz app’s R-rated categories are capturing teens’ attention. FriendO is rising through the ranks of the app store, but not by following the Play Nice, PG strategy that took tbh viral. FriendO users move up their friends’ rankings boards as they answer questions about each other, proving their friendship. If someone sends the app to three friends, they unlock NSFW categories like MSFK (Marry, Sex, Friend, Kill). But people are worried that none of these categories are barred to young users. (Mashable)

TGI Fridays is adding Instagrammable milkshakes to their menu with “cascading toppings,” “suspiciously” similar to Black Tap’s infamous creations. The “Extreme” milkshakes “take dessert to the next level” with a seasonal option piled high with Christmas cookies, and a s’mores shake topped with marshmallows, Oreos, and graham cracker crumbs. If that’s not enough to get Millennials in the door of chain restaurants that they notoriously avoid, both shakes can be ordered “boozy” (a tactic we’ve seen before). (Grub Street)

Seventeen is creating an LGBTQ community for teens with their new, “social-first” platform, Here. Instagram and Facebook form the main hub of Here, along with a dedicated vertical on Seventeen itself. Launched less than a week ago, content is already popping up on social and the site. Seventeen is appealing to the Genreless Generation, and one editor said Here will be “a resource and a place for teens to express themselves.” (Fashionista)

Rising musician Tallia Storm says her Instagram paid for her debut album. Lauded by Sir Elton John and Nile Rodgers, 19-year-old Storm leveraged The Influencer Effect for her own gain: Her debut album, Teenage Tears, was entirely self-financed via her earnings as a “fashion ‘it girl’” and Instagram influencer with over 300,000 followers. As a result, she had full creative freedom and became a “part of the growing staple of acts who are not repped by a major label.” Oh, and she got to open for Sir Elton John. (PR Newswire)

Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner’s online-only beauty brand sensation, has teamed up with Topshop to drive young shoppers in-store. Brick-and-mortar is far from dead, with research from TABS Analytics showing 66% of shoppers prefer to purchase new cosmetics in-store—and brands like this one are betting on IRL retail. Kylie Cosmetics is now available at seven Topshop stores across the country for just five weeks, and they’re accruing long lines of fans to test out the coveted lip kits in person. (BuzzFeed)

“…[Rick and Morty] has our generation's sense of nihilism, fear of wasted time, humor in unpredictability, and shy optimism in human relations.”—Female, 17, TX

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