Articles

What’s Your Selfie Pleasure?

by Alicia Eler on February 17, 2014

Usie of Olympic gold medal snowboarder Jamie Anderson via Twitter. From her tweet: "‏@Jme_Anderson  Feb 6 Me and @KarlyShorr are going to be on the today show this afternoon... Then opening ceremonies! Oh snap!"

Usie of U.S. Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson before she won gold. Image via Twitter. From her tweet: “‏@Jme_Anderson Feb 6 Me and @KarlyShorr are going to be on the today show this afternoon… Then opening ceremonies! Oh snap!”

LOS ANGELES — This week, a new selfie trend pissed people off. Jason Feiffer, the same guy who dug around on Instagram and discovered funeral selfies, discovered the creepy “selfies with homeless people” trend.

These “selfies with homeless people” are more like Bieber’s performative selfies, which are meant only for getting attention, and suggest a lack of compassion or understanding about homelessness today.

In the world of online dating, Shayan Zadeh, the CEO and founder of Zoosk, says that guys should avoid taking selfies for their profile pictures. But ladies? “Women, yes. Selfies work for them.” This is a very gendered oversimplification of dynamics in the world of online dating. Where is his data on this, anyway?

The Selfie Olympics rocked the interwebs before the Sochi Olympics. Now Olympians in Sochi are taking selfies, which are basically just part of celebrity social media personas. But it’s still totally exciting to see a selfie of, say, American Jamie Anderson, who took home gold in the US women’s snowboard slopestyle event. This is a moment to remember, and then retweet.

Elsewhere in the world, French reporters are shooting selfies at the Oval Office, and a Swedish gym tells its members that they need to knock off the locker room selfies. That’s a private space, and it should stay that way. But members are quite welcome to shoot selfies of themselves working out in the public gym space.

This week’s selfie submitters share their purposely public-facing selfies with us. No one gets gold, silver or bronze, but everyone does get a little taste of 15 minutes of internet celebrity.

Kim Leutwyler

Kim's new haircut selfie

Kim Leutwyler’s new haircut selfie

Occupation: Artist
Location: Sydney, Australia

“I’m not generally one to take a selfie. I’ve always found it amusing to see people capturing selfies everywhere … and sometimes make it my mission to take pictures of others taking selfies. This particular selfie arose from purely narcissistic origins. I wanted to check out my new haircut! Once I decided this selfie was share-worthy, I felt the need to modify it. Most selfies I see are casually improvised and instantly shared. I knew that I wanted my selfie to appear casual, but felt that it would be more in line with my artistic practice if it had a distinct modification. With my audience in mind, I decided it might be fun to remove my mouth!”

Seth David Friedman

Seth David Friedman's vacation selfie

Seth David Friedman’s vacation selfie

Occupation: Medical Physicist/Artist
Location: Seattle

“This was shot in Big Sur on self-timer. We were staying in a trailer accessible only by hiking up a sheer cliff trail. Along the way there was plenty of native marble and fresh mountain lion poop. It was relaxing in an I-might-lose-a-child-this-morning kind of way. I probably hadn’t had coffee or maybe had too much. Hard to remember.”

Tonci Antunovic

Tonci Antunovic's immigrant selfie project

Tonci Antunovic’s immigrant selfie project

Occupation: Photographer, Video Artist & Journalist for Croatian media outlets
Location: New York City

“My Instagram project is still a ‘work in progress.’ I will be done when i capture 4096 selfless. Now, I am on 700-something. My selfies are my journey as an immigrant in NY, it’s about anxiety, about space, perspective, city, alienation, and, above everything, about life. Those photos force me to stop for a moment and see the things that I would usually just pass by and think about them for a second and see the beauty in small things — something that we very often forget.”

Bernadette Vielbig

Bernadette's polar bear selfie

Bernadette Vielbig’s polar bear selfie

Occupation: Instructor of Fine Art at Spokane Falls Community College
Location: Spokane, Washington

“I shot this in my living room Saturday night after gutting & skinning a very large stuffed polar bear.

I proceeded to walk around in the legs in fresh snow & will be filming a walkabout in 4 inches of fresh snow in the inland northwest tomorrow with head/legs/arm & editing it for a future project/show.

I shot this to see if I could handle setting up my own video with tripods outdoors.

What does this mean to me? This week, there is snow for this bear — but the forecast tells me it will rain and melt his habitat, and possibly flood my community, and he will need to swim off his little iceberg to survive.

Am I this bear — without a stable environment — are we all this bear? These are things I think abut when I wear this. In March, he will be visiting the rain forests of the northwest Californian coast. In July — we will try the desert.”

Shane Allan Smith

Shane Allen Smith's "Sweet-N-Low" selfie

Shane Allen Smith’s “Sweet-N-Low” selfie

Occupation: Artist
Location: Philadelphia

“I, me, me, my(ne) reason for working with the selfie format so often is simply because I (and most of the human race in one way or another … ) hate myself and will always jump at the chance to edit, make fun/light of myself/any real problems that are easier to deal with my tongue placed firmly against my cheek. Hooray for me! Sent from my Selfie Maker.”

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Email Hyperallergic your selfie at selfies [at] hyperallergic.com, along with a brief explanation of why you shot it and what it means to you.

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  • Alanna

    Interesting selfies. I specially like the perspective selfie! I would call these pretty successful in comparison with these: http://www.listicle.co/list/user/post.php?listid=1591 lol

    • http://www.aliciaeler.com Alicia Eler

      What makes a selfie more “successful”?

  • Alanna

    I used “successful” to compare it with the selfies in the link I posted. I meant to say that the selfies in this article, “What’s your selfie pleasure?” are much more creative and share-worthy than thousands of selfies being taken every day.

  • http://www.aliciaeler.com Alicia Eler

    Faceless!

    • Kim Leutwyler

      Ha ha ha John I love that! Definitely a positive modification :)

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