By ROSIE WATERLAND
My little sister Tayla, 19, is obsessed with taking selfies.
See that little Tayla-Selfies montage I put together on the left? That’s just the tip of a very large iceberg. (And for those with awesome attention to detail, you’ll notice there’s even a selfie of her holding a stuffed animal with a face made from one of her selfies. Yeah – this ‘berg is a deep one.)
She posts them on Facebook and Instagram constantly, and, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, manages to pull an almost identical facial expression in each one. This has always constituted a lot of eye rolling on my part, because, to be honest, I just don’t get it.
To me, the selfie culture populates a mysterious part of the social media universe where a language is spoken that I just don’t understand. A language that feels like it’s lacking any kind of irony or self-deprecation. And people who can’t make fun of themselves are people who make me nervous. To me – selfies all just look so… self-indulgent.
But I’m a progressive gal with an open mind and given so many people are now populating SelfieLand, I decided I needed to broaden my horizons and try to at least get my head around the basics of this exotic realm. So I asked Tayla if she would be my guide while I explored – David Attenborough-style – the unique and completely baffling land of Selfies.
This is what I found.
There are five main kinds of selfie that I managed to document.
1. The ‘I found a look that works for me and I’m sticking with it’ Selfie.
My little sister is the perfect example of this very common kind of selfie. Evolved from the posing phenomenon that took the social pages by storm in recent years (hand on hip, head cocked slightly to side, duck-face), these women have figured out the perfect pose and they’re not letting it go.
Tayla uses a slight smile (with just a hint of duck-face), chin tucked in – either to the centre or side – and completes the look with wide Disney Princess eyes. And hey – nobody can deny she looks gorgeous doing it. If it aint broke, don’t fix it.
2. The ‘Backdoor Brag’ Selfie.
Anybody who watched 30 Rock would know that ‘backdoor bragging’ is when you sneak something wonderful about yourself into everyday conversation.
The ‘Backdoor Brag’ Selfie is basically the photo version of that manoeuvre. Rihanna pulled off a great one last week when she showed off a new pair of thigh-high boots by posting a selfie of her INCREDIBLE ARSE. See how it was about the boots but really all anybody talked about was her INCREDIBLE ARSE? Backdoor bragging at its best. (Another notable example: Miranda Kerr reading a book.)
3. The ‘Warts and All’ Selfie
In my first year of uni I did an assignment making some kind of pretentious comment on social media. Twitter had just become a thing and I thought everything WAS GETTING OUT OF CONTROL, MAN. It basically involved me taking a photo every ten minutes for a day to prove how inane and tedious it would be if things went that far.