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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