Archive for January, 2014

On Selfies

I’d like to take a moment to talk about a sentiment that’s been repeated endlessly in political cartoons and other news media, which pretty much boils down to “OMG SELFIES”.

Selfies, as it turns out, have been around pretty much forever. We used to call them self-portraits. Consider this self-portrait by Rembrandt in the goddamn 1600s:

A self-portrait of and by Rembrandt.

Even in the 1600s, people were making portraits of themselves.

And, I should note, this isn’t the oldest surviving self-portrait. It’s just a particularly good one. But hey, maybe you want to say “OH BUT THAT ISN’T A PHOTOGRAPH SO IT DOESN’T COUNT”, in which case fine, how about this photographic self-portrait taken in 18-fucking-39:

The earliest known photographic selfie

By the way, this is the earliest known photographic selfie.

“THAT WASN’T USING A MIRROR”, you say? Firstly, go fuck yourself. Secondly, fine. How about this one from circa 1900:

Black and white photo of a mirror showing a woman circa 1900 holding a camera

She looks kinda surprised that the contraption actually worked.

Or this one of Princess Fucking Anastasia in 1914:

I guess there's an argument that most royalty is self-absorbed.

I guess there’s an argument that most royalty is rather self-absorbed.

And even ignoring the whole history thing, it’s not just self-absorbed youths that take pictures of themselves. You also get older people:

Selfie of a middle-aged or senior man

It’s not just for kids, people.

And Mars rovers (in which case selfies are actually useful for science):

Selfie of a Mars rover

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on FUCKING MARS.

And this guy:

Selfie of a man pouring chocolate syrup onto his chest

I don’t even know.

People take selfies because they want to have a memory, and sometimes proof, of something. Taking a picture of yourself doesn’t mean you’re narcissistic or self-absorbed. It just means you’re taking a picture of yourself. That’s all! So can we stop fucking going on about selfies already?

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 Thoughts 1 Comment