Blog Post 3: My Self, My Selfie

Hi everyone,

Our next reading for Monday, Lisa Ehlin’s “The Subversive Selfie,” gives us a chance to sharpen our thinking from the performance of the self online overall we considered in our last class to the specific ways in which selfies in particular play a role in that performance and self-construction. Ehlin’s argument asks us to think about selfies in a different way from how we’re often encouraged to see them, in terms of identity, gender, power, and selfhood itself.

Since the first paper assignment asks you to use our critical readings to engage in some self-analysis, let’s use this blog post as a sort of warmup to that kind of writing: in your post, you should use some key claims and ideas from Ehlin’s article to analyze a particular selfie — find a meaty, thoughtful quotation of a few sentences from her article, introduce and explain it in your own writing, and apply that to a selfie of your choosing. Your application should analyze the image in relation to the ideas you draw from Ehlin — how does that image illustrate, complicate, oppose, or otherwise relate to her thinking about selfies overall? And what’s important about that relationship — what does seeing that image through the framework of her argument show you about it, and about selfies and self-construction online overall.

You’re free to use a selfie of your own, or another one you can find and access online — a celebrity’s, a friend’s, or anything else is up for consideration. The only rule here is that you should include a link to it in your post so that I and everyone else can look at it, and that it should be publicly available (i.e., not part of a private account). If you want to get a direct link to an Instagram post, the easiest way to do that is to look at it on a computer rather than your phone, and copy that address into your post. Keep in mind that WordPress’ spam filter sometimes doesn’t like links, so I may have to approve your post manually again, but as long as you submit it on time, you’re ok.

Reminder: your response should go in the comments section for this post — click the “Leave a Comment” link at the top of the post. It should be at least 250 words, and is due by 11:59pm on Sunday, September 16th. If you have any questions, let me know via email.

 

 

16 thoughts on “Blog Post 3: My Self, My Selfie

  1. What does it mean to be vulnerable? Is it a type of action or words that prove it’s happening? In reality, vulnerability could be spotted in a situation through behaviors or speech in a certain context. Online, this is not upheld. Vulnerability is much better hidden and even ignored due to how fluctuating the digital identity can be. Words that are typed on these social networks can be constructed so specifically that vulnerability is hidden along with anything else not apparent over a screen. Part of digital identity that can be filtered but not to an extreme is the phenomenon of the selfie. Lisa Ehlin from Stockholm University wrote The subversive selfie: Redefining the mediated subject to address the complex relationship selfies create with the self and the technology involved. A portion of Ehlin’s writing addresses the opinion of narcissism in taking selfies versus the empowerment of them. While the empowerment argument seems the most realistic to me due to my social experiences, there is a specific empowerment involved, feministic empowerment. Ehlin restates Gail Dines interview comment “’Because of porn culture, women have internalized that image of themselves […] They self-objectify, which means they’re actually doing themselves what the male gaze does to them’” which can be very triggering to a person (especially a female) who views her selfies as beautiful or encouraging. This statement is plainly saying a woman figure who uses selfies are portraying themselves in a sexual view for a culture cis man have created and enjoyed themselves. Women are not only seen as sex objects in this argument but even as something valuable to amass and spread. In another section of Ehlin’s writing she quotes Irigaray who explains the Young Girl Theory and says, “the commodification of a woman might reduce her, but at least she is turned into a value of exchange among the men to collect and use”. This very mentality is what causes selfies to be viewed as negative or to only have a sexual purpose. However, selfies are more than what is seen at first glance. A selfie can be a representation of one’s strength, pain, contradictory personality, or even vulnerability. The less filtered it is, the more complex the message becomes. To support this, my selfie that is connected to my post is a picture of me right after completing my new protective hair style. There has absolutely no filter and it was posted on an image based social network (Snapchat). The picture may seem provocative at first due to the amount of cleavage present but in reality, it was the hottest day of the summer and I just spent 8 straight hours in a chair with no AC having my hair pulled and tugged aggressively. The point of the selfie is not to present myself in that light but to leave myself vulnerable and take charge of my appearance. The image captured 8 hours of angst and pain due to the surprise of what my hair may look like. As an afro-latinx women, what I do to my hair is very important to my identity and the image also captures me trying a hairstyle I have never done before. It captured the anxiety of looking confusing to the pubic but the excitement of seeming like a different woman. While to a superficial man, the selfie may seem stimulating but to me, it was to be vulnerable and to prove that regardless of their opinions I survived the pain of getting my hair done and felt confident in my appearance. It is a piece to be celebrated, not collected. Ehlin really touches on a topic that can be easily overlooked in a conversation about digital identity (the female participation) and raises the questions of whether the male gaze will ever view selfies in another light? Can narcissism ever be excluded from the conversation? Will the male oppression of females continue to affect us even in the new digital age?
    https://scontent-mia3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/41873123_2024913924235245_3776551570708103168_n.jpg?_nc_cat=0&oh=ad0c58cce86b11ce4c76ec50c72210c2&oe=5C2D3213

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  2. Social Media is the basis for communication and relationship building. More often than not people use these sites to portray an image of themselves that resembles perfection in front of their peers; however, putting up an image of oneself that is imperfect, or even true produces a sense of sincerity to the viewer. Through this sincerity, relationships can and will be developed. Although many people use social media to up their standing in society, some look to connect with others on an emotional and realistic level.
    After the creation of Instagram and other social media accounts, people looked for ways to deviate from the norm. From this deviation came the creation of Finsta. Finsta is a separate account from the normal, edited Instagram account. These are usually private and only accessible by friends. On this site people post real images of themselves usually unfiltered with comments about real life events. When Lisa Ehlin states, “it does not concern itself with the artistry of self-portrays…it is not to be taken seriously…It is a way of exposing vulnerability” (85), she establishes that most selfies posted on social media are not to be looked at as a works of art, as something that is edited for the viewer, but as a means for people to show their true self, to be exposed to the world. People in general connect more to vulnerability. Finsta does exactly this. In viewing the finsta/selfie post by @thisissooous, it can be seen that this image is truly unfiltered and made not to impress but to be true.
    This truthfulness or vulnerability, as stated above, helps people connect with peers and colleagues. Writing, “it also assists in creating and maintaining social relationships” (85), Ehlin demonstrates this idea that social media, in particular the selfie, helps people make connections and establish firmer relationships. Looking at the comments of the post by @thisissooous, “Enjoy friends”, they reaffirm this idea that social media, selfies, help with social relationships.
    Social media and selfies can be used for more than just upping ones standing in society through editing. One can actually increase their standing by being real and vulnerable, for people tend to connect with people more on an emotional level. This new part of social media makes it even more dynamic in the sense that not everyone wants to portray perfection at every moment. This demonstrates the fluidity of social media. It will never be the same.

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  3. In her article, “The Subversive Selfie: Redefining the Mediated Subject,” Lisa Ehlin investigates the role of the selfie for an individual within society. While Ehlin discusses controversial, latent aspects of the selfie in its relation to the objectification of women, she also points out a more manifest role of selfies posted on social media platforms: performance. Despite online images being mere representations of individuals “offline” lives, “she stresses that looking at pictures on Facebook (and subsequently Instagram) ‘cracks your mirror’, pointing to seeing others having better or more perfect lives than you. Instagram is arguably even harsher and more powerful than Facebook in this jealousy aspect, as it is purely image driven. Photographs suggestively create envy and trigger feelings of inferiority.” Here Ehlin is identifying a larger inferiority complex that arises when scrolling through image-sharing platforms, specifically Instagram, as we are exposed to all the fun, extravagant activities that others partake in. In this exposure, we often compare our everyday lives to the images posted online, as a sense of jealousy surfaces, thus diminishing the value of our own experiences. I have attached a selfie from my Instagram, posted in July of 2015, that is closely aligned with the ideas from the above passage. In this selfie, my face and torso occupy the far-left side of the image, while a waterfall dominates the center focal point. In focusing in on the waterfall, I am emphasizing the experience of being in the beautiful outdoors. Through this emphasis on the unique experience that I was lucky enough to enjoy, I contributed to the aforementioned superiority complex that arises when individuals compare their lives to that which is posted online. Whether I was aware of it in the moment or not, this selfie served as a way to “perform,” or display to the online world the fact that I am outdoorsy and enjoy being in nature. From analyzing this selfie on the basis of Ehlin’s argument, I now have a deeper insight on my (our) intent when posting selfies on Instagram. Despite what we may convince ourselves to be the underlying, “innocent” intentions driving our Instagram posts, selfies often serve a deeper, selfish purpose of seeking attention and provoking jealously.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/4nQHErDYwd2kD5IX2FOzlI0Rq21VdmkF1FuKA0/

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  4. The selfie has become a considerable force in the social media industry and what was once seen as a phenomenon has now been absorbed into the cluster that is social media. “The subversive selfie” by Lisa Ehlin explores how the selfie is a form of power, communication, and self-identity among other topics. A key idea that she explains is how the selfie humanizes a person while looking at their online persona. Lisa Ehlin states, “Tsarnaev’s selfie allows people to identify with him, reducing the element of ‘foreign’ to instead being unable to turn away from the humanity of his face. (77)”. Ehlin touches on the topic of Rolling Stones Magazine using a selfie of the Boston Marathon bomber Dzokhar Tsarnaev. The general publics ridiculed this decision with force because the selfie forces them to see him in alignment with a regular person. Although it is drastically different some similarities can be drawn from this when looking at celebrities taking selfies for social media. This is often a way for them to make them seem closer to their fans and showing that they are just like them. You can see this in the selfie I chose taken by the famous musician, Tyler, The Creator. The selfie shows him in the restaurant Cracker Barrel which is generally not expected of celebrities. This photo is a direct interaction with fans while many realize the location and can relate with the photo personally. In the subversive selfie, “‘M’ replies: ‘It’s the fact that it’s someone’s face. Then you really see that it’s a person’. (77)”. This statement is extremely recognizable in selfies taken by celebrities showing that they are regular people just like the rest of the population. Additionally, the caption of this photo is the name of a Maroon 5 song along with the track number on the album. This highlights the self-expression element of social media which is also seen in the photo as the setting can be seen clearly. This is a way for the artist to interact with fans in this case sharing what song they like at the moment. The selfie is a powerful tool that can be utilized in many different ways such as finding your identity, appreciating yourself and interacting with your followers.

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  5. Through this article each statement only became more relatable and significant to me culminating in the most relatable statement of all by the sole (cis)male. With his words on the terror and insecurity of taking a selfie I discovered the significance of the selfie within my own life. For me the selfie is private and seldom posted, and, if it is, only to my private “finsta” account. This is due to that within each selfie I seldom see my own face but rather just my insecurities and lack of traditional masculinity staring back at me. However, this is why I love them! They allow me to confront my insecurities and take down the wall of masculinity that prevents so many men my age from being able to share our bodies, and more so, our feelings with the world. Enhlin’s article thus hits the true nature of the selfie on the nose in my eyes as she and her focus group speak on the power of the selfie as an empowering thing. A way to validate yourself and that snapshot of your life through the reassurance of others. The selfie I chose to use is one of my own taken at a time of vulnerability as I am alone and was posted in conglomeration with a rather lengthy statement on my mental health. It took me about 45 minutes to work up the courage to post it but in the end, I did, and received the love and validation from the few who follow my private account leading me to have a happier day feeling more comfortable in my own body. From this I see the radical ability of selfies in the feminist movement to increase feelings of control over one’s own body and to feel strengthened through the digital support of your friends and followers. I agree whole heartily with Enhlin’s article and think the selfie is a beautiful thing that is not giving in to societal norms and expectations but rather opposing them through the exposure of your life to the world, almost saying I’m here and here is my life whether you want it or not. Thankfully, the world normally does want it and gives your action even more power through the validation provided.
    https://www.tumblr.com/blog/maedermaeder

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  6. I believe that Ehlin’s article, “The Subversive Selfie: Redefining the Mediated Subject”, about different aspects and perspectives of a selfie was interesting when she specifically mentions how one is aware of themselves of how they look when they take a selfie in a public place. For example, posting a selfie for a snapchat story is important when everyone looks “good” or “decent” for the photo especially after a team wins or celebrates when they proceed the next round. Ehlin states “the act of looking in the context of the selfie involves looking at oneself actively, both in facing the subject through the front-facing camera, but also through the experience of being aware of oneself when taking a selfie in a public space (75). In particular, when our team defeated Vassar College in the finals of the Liberty League Championships for the eighth year in the row, we decided to post a team selfie to spread the word. Of course, our captains decided that we should take the selfie as we all are drenched in sweat right after from playing our matches so it showed all of our hard work to win the liberty league championships. Within the selfie, we decided to include a filter of our location to indicate where the championships were held (couldn’t find the image with filtered selfie). It took several times to finally post the selfie because everyone was very picky of how they looked in the photo. This specific selfie also reflects the idea of one’s self-fashioning and that we are not aware of identity as appearance (79).

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  7. Ehlin makes a large claim throughout her study of selfies, “It is a type of communal self-love that affirms non-isolation… ‘As long as there is someone who acknowledges you, you will never be done.”80 The individual who posts the selfies is constantly looking for reassurance, as soon as a picture is posted the individual is immediately looking for reassurance. The likes and comments on the selfie acts as such. This claim adds a dimension to the idea of narcissism playing a role in the selfie. If people are constantly seeking reassurance than the attention received by posting these selfies would boost egos. However I believe that the psychological aspects behind posting a selfies goes further than this. The selfie I have linked is from September 3rd, 2016, the last day of my Skidmore pre-orientation prior to the start of my freshman year. I posted a selfie with two friends I had met on the trip. I captioned the picture, “see mom I actually made friends *emoji* day three no shower so the filter is needed”. Although I do agree with the claim of seeking approval and reassurance through likes and comments I think it is a deeper issue. The transition from high school to college is a difficult one that many are nervous for. As college freshman we are leaving our hometown, friends and family and attempting to not only “find yourself” but also find friends. Posting a picture of myself pointing to the fact that I hadn’t showered and there is a filter shows the insecurity of posting a picture I believed to be sub-par to previous ones. However, posting the picture despite these insecurities adds a dimension in which I wanted to assure myself and my followers(friends) that I was doing well in the transition and that I would be okay with making friends and continuing my college career.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BJ5ORqhganblPAw7e_4GbVQThTl5tYsRMJFr8k0/?taken-by=taywood55

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  8. In her article, “The Subversive Selfie: Redefining the Mediated Subject,” Lisa Ehlin recontextualizes the selfie as we know it. She notes that the selfie as a form of representation has made a lot of space for feminist critique. Ehlin writes “Because it might also be viewed as gendered labour, I claim that the selfie could turn into potential subversion of precisely this commodified spectacle. The objectification of women would not likely cease even if all the selfies were magically erased. But the existence of it makes debate and bending of rules possible. Again pointing out that narcissism is not neutral, the young woman, when taking a selfie, might instead find a way ‘to burn through her own narcissism in order to assume responsibility for herself. (82)” I really liked the idea of “burning through narcissism”, partially because I think it paints selfie culture in a more positive light, and I want to believe that selfies have some good to them. Obviously, the male gaze is an inherent part of internet culture, so it’s no surprise that the selfie is a perversion of the gaze. However, I think that there are times when the narcissism that selfie culture provokes creates value for women. If you can’t escape the male gaze, then why not reclaim it. If a woman wants to prost a “provocative” selfie on the internet, are you giving into patriarchal expectation by doing it, or by not doing it? Are women being forced to sexualise and objectify their own bodies? Why do we view the selfie as disempowering and narcissistic behaviour for women?
    It’s hard for me to come up with an example of this from my internet life, mostly because I really want to believe that i post selfies solely for my enjoyment and pleasure (even though I know this is mostly so false!) I will instead, use Kim Kardashian as an example because she, for whatever reason, was the first person who popped into my mind when I read this. In 2015, Kim Kardashian released a book of selfies titled Selfish. The book shows Kardashian’s personal selfies, and is made up of photos previously posted on Kardashian’s social media accounts. The title of the book is even a play on the narcissism women are often so ridiculed with when posting photos of themselves to the internet. This might not be the most relatable example, because Kim Kardashian obviously profits off of her selfies. However, I think her book supports the notion that women can, in some ways, reclaim the objectification of their bodies which is so apparent in selfie culture.

    Below is a link to a video of someone flipping through the selfie book

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  9. Today, technology has influenced every aspect of human life from how we eat to our very idea of how we view ourselves, regardless of what it may be technology plays a very dominant role in it. One of the ways technology continues to play a role in our lives is through our social media archives, such as “Timehop” on Facebook that allows users to see moments or anniversaries in their lives on their timeline. These archives possess portions of our lives that we may fail to remember on a day to day basis. At times, reviewing these archives can make some feel embarrassed or saddened, but regardless of how or what it makes you feel, those archived moments whether it be your 15th Birthday or the day you broke up with a significant other, are part of the reason you are where you are today. In Lisa Ehlin’s essay titled “The subversive selfie: Redefining the mediated subject”, Ehlin discusses the uses of selfies on social media platforms to draw attention to ideas and complexities often overlooked when discussing selfies. One point Ehlin made that resonated with me was on page 83 when she said “The idea of a type of transcendence is strengthened, perhaps as a reverberation, through the focus group’s discussion on their archive. When I ask them if they ever look through their archive all of them are affirmative. ‘I actually do it pretty often, and find it quite rewarding’, ‘H’ says. … ‘Like a cozy little journey’… You…see yourself inwards. It’s like a part of constructing your identity, keeping an archive of your life.” In this quote Ehlin and her interviewees depict how powerful It is to be able to look back at our lives through our archived posts, and how doing so can provide us a window into our lives prior to when we got to where we are currently. Which, in this case, is very positive because when looking back at social media archives, the public may not know the thoughts and emotions associated with each selfie, photo, or post, but the individual user does. This is significant because the individual can look back on these moments and gain a renewed, and often comforting, reminder of that regardless of how good or bad the moments within their archive were, they are led them to where they are, and may give that user faith when going through hard times in the future. Often, many argue that looking through social media archives are can have a negative effect on the individual because it will cause the individual to attach to prior moments and try to live through those prior moments rather than their actual present reality. Though a valid argument, I do not think that argument is specific to social media archives because any photo has the ability to cause an individual to attach or not want to dissociate from that moment, whether it be on social media or in the attic of an old house. Also, an individual that attaches to an old photo or memory may do that as a way of coping from losing a lost one or dealing with a traumatic, or very important event, that had a huge impact o their lives. So, regardless of one’s attachment to the past whether it be subtle or extreme it is no business of anyone but their own unless it is harmful to themselves or others, then the aforementioned argument may apply. As for me, I found a lot of meaning in this Ehlins words as I spent my Saturday morning with hot coffee in my hand as I looked through my Instagram posts dating back as far as 5 years ago. As I looked at all of the photos from over the years, I found myself stopping at each of the rare selfies in my Instagram feed. I felt as if I found hidden treasure as the nostalgia from each of my selfies dating farther and farther began to fill my apartment kitchen. These photos didn’t just grant me a view of myself physically, but, more importantly, mentally. I began to think about the portions of my life associated with each of the photos. An example can be found in the photo attached. This is a selfie that was taken when I was in 8th grade prior to going to my first private school interview. I was so nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, and there were rumors of this school’s first-year interviewers being extremely tough due to the selectivity of the school. So, with butterflies in my stomach, I went through the interview only to not be offered acceptance into the school. Though I was upset after the aforementioned situation had taken place, the overall experience in so many ways helped me mature and make the most of the school that I ended up attending, so much so that I have the luxury of attending Skidmore College and being in this very class. So, building off what Ehlin and her interviewees, had said, as I stumbled over each of these selfies through my adolescence up to now I am able to see myself grow physically, mentally, and socially through the screen of my phone, which for some may be negative or weird, but for me it was comforting to know that these images gave me to opportunity to see all that I have been through and how it has brought me to a place that I can ultimately say I’m happy. Which only gives me more confidence in the idea that whatever happens life will turn out just fine. /Users/jonbile39/Desktop/Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 8.40.29 PM.png

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  10. In “The Subversive Selfie,” Lisa Ehlin explains how the selfie contributes to technological development, social media, online performance, and identity construction. She reflects on the following: “The selfie puts the questions of the hyperconnected individual (the idea of everything and everyone simply always online) in relation to suggested self-empowerment, self-marketing, or self-inflation… The selfie is an opening up of understanding the self through more radical politics of marginalization as well as affirmation” (74). This compares the selfie to a political revolution that aims to change the view of why people post selfies, to whom they perform online, and to make sure it does not objectify women. People might look at selfies as a sign of self-obsession, nonetheless, Ehlin proves that it is a part of self-construction and gives a sense of self-definition. Ehlin is introducing the selfie as a tool for self-reflection and self-love. For example, this selfie of a 20-year-old female hopes to show how she performs online, why, and to whom. Evidently, this young woman is aiming for a natural look. She is not wearing makeup except for mascara and a nude color of eyeshadow to enhance her green colored eyes. Moreover, taking a selfie with wet hair intensifies how natural this picture can be, as well as having a background of the nature. This shows how this woman performs online as she is trying to express her natural beauty to the online community. Clearly, people cannot claim that she looks fake because there are no filters used and she is wearing no make-up. Nowadays, people can recognize how much a picture is filtered or edited. Therefore, a person is judged based on how real their online accounts are compared to their actual lives and reality. Are they as happy as they seem to be? Are they as beautiful as they appear? Or is it just a tool to escape their realities after all?
    I believe that these questions are becoming more prominent in our daily lives thus proving there’s a need for change; a change in how women are viewed based on their online performance. The selfie on social media is the key to show individuality and allow people to be their empowered true selves.

    /Users/natalie/Desktop/Image-1.png

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  11. When I see a selfie on my feed, I tend to think about why it was posted. It seems that every selfie has a reason to be shared, some more meaningful than others. I believe selfies can send messages without the use of words, messages of self love, but I can’t imagine that most selfies aren’t posted because of their ability to immediately draw attention. And because they can draw so much attention, selfies are often taken in a way that makes the subject out to be in a more ideal situation than they are actually in. In Ehlen’s writing, she mentions the idea of Self-Fashioning. This suggests that selfie users are “designing themselves,” and are able to elevate themselves through an image. I chose a picture I posted a couple years ago, when I was a freshman in high school. While it’s not a selfie using the front facing camera, it is still a close up of my face, posted for the same reason a selfie is. After it was taken, I had my sister edit it. I wanted the edits to either make me look better, or to make the beach I was on look more aesthetic. I wanted the picture to be fashioned in a way that made me come across interesting. I wanted people to look at this kid in a hoodie on a beach and be impressed by his lifestyle. The idea that I could post something like that, and then receive attention from it drew me in at the time. It wasn’t about expressing myself for who I truly was, or for any reason other than I wanted to look cool, and I wanted likes.The idea of Self-Fashioning is appealing. But it is meaningless. The attention gained from a post like that only lasts until the likes stop coming in. Selfies can be a productive method of expression, but only if they are posted for a healthy reason.

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  12. In her study “The Subversive Selfie: Redefining the Mediated Subject”, Lisa Ehlin tackles the widespread notion that selfies fuel superficial narcissism, which ultimately hinders one’s concept of self-worth. Ehlin argues that, from a feminist standpoint, selfies allow women to flourish in their self-expression while being unconcerned with male validation. Her deconstruction of the relationship between narcissism and feminism reminded me of an instagram post I came across recently (attached below). This post, a selfie which I assume was created using a self-timer camera, depicts the female subject posing nude on her bed, with the addition of censors over erogenous areas. The photo is accompanied by a caption which illustrates a third-wave feminist sentiment: “if u don’t respect women naked or dressed any type of way unfollow. Nudity is not inherently sexual. Sad that people think women should be shamed. Everyone is beautiful and everything is ok. Enjoy yourself and express urself <3”. The message of this post compliments Ehlin’s claim that this form of selfie-taking strives to “[get] back at patriarchy” since “ the woman, through her narcissism, creates her own value, a ‘rhetoric of the prose’, without the validation of the (male) gaze (Jones 1998: 149)” (Ehlin 82-23). But while this instagram post supplements Ehlin's assertion, it also complicates it. Is it realistic in today’s political and social climate for female narcissism to truly empowering? Or is this reclamation of narcissism as a feminist trope just a means for women to more comfortably appeal to the male gaze? And why must female empowerment come from superficial visual representations of our bodies?
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl4CPMqH5O2/?taken-by=sentient_meat_

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  13. https://instagram.com/p/BTMTBu8guVF/

    The culture of selfie-taking is one that I haven’t always been fond of. Not because of the act itself or the stigma that is often underlined, but because of my unwillingness to expose the self as subject. In The subversive selfie: Redefining the mediated subject, Lisa Ehlin attempts to understand selfies and the process behind them, using a less conventional and biased approach. In the piece, Ehlin maintains that: “In other words, something as seemingly simple as a snap shot of oneself reveals a complex web of contradictory definitions, of media as well as of the self-consciousness. In this way, the selfie illustrates a process as well as an end product (76)”. Often, the immediate response to this phenomenon does not consider the underlying aspects that transform it into a process. Looking at how someone put themselves in the position to snap a selfie, might lead to understanding whether they have specific motives they ought to convey, how they look at themselves as subject for the outside world or, the disguise of any elements that are part of the self. The picture attached to this post is the first selfie I ever published on social media. Ruminating on this moment reminds me of how nervous and unease I was about making a form of self-acknowledgment public. Ehlin explains that: “Moreover, by posting and sharing the selfie, you give yourself up to the care and good will of others to acknowledge you. And in order to get acknowledgment in the first place, you have to risk yourself and put yourself out there. (84)”. Though many might consider it to be a vain act, taking a selfie and publishing it requires from the individual to be comfortable with being vulnerable and unfiltered in front of others. For the longest time, I had never arrived at the point where I was comfortable with sharing parts of who I am (skin, body, hair, etc.) to others. Surprisingly, what daunted me was not the fear of having parts of who I am being judged and negatively acknowledged by others. What put me in that position was the fact that I didn’t like or agreed with those features and characteristics that I maintained. In other words, I would never want to acknowledge the self to others in the form of selfies, since there was so much hate I had for the self. It would feel like I would be lying about liking or simply acknowledging who I was in a positive light. It was only until I embarked on a journey of self-love and acceptance, that I began considering taking part in this process. I saw it almost as a transitional phase I was bound to go through so that I could continue to acknowledge the self in a positive light. Another aspect that I find imperative to explore is the ‘self-determination’ quality that selfies can contain. Indeed, I believe that the process that came with taking that selfie and posting it represented the accomplishment of an oath I took to embrace parts of me that made me unique and different; and sculpt who I wanted to become as an individual. Some of these perspectives might also explain why till this day I don’t take selfies quite often, but also help convey the importance of a rather challenging process I had to take part of so that I could take more ownership of the self.

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  14. When most people think of the selfie, they think of the physical nature of what their eyes show them. However, there are more ways to understand what is in front of them,. They always say a picture worth a thousand words but selfies say a lot more than that. Selfies can give history, inform you of the present and tell the future. Technology has revolutionized pictures and what they tell us. With things like filters, selfies can tell us a great deal about a person. Lisa has taken a stance that selfies are so much more than the physical picture. Lisa argues that selfies are normally just stamped as a tool for narcissism and self-obsession. she also says that it is a tool for those who have been marginalized to freely express themselves and liberate themselves from any discrimination. She brings up how males have used selfies to objectify women and treat them as if they were property. women use the selfie as a sort of way to uplift themselves. As I was looking through pictures, one really captured what it meant to take a selfie. this picture is of a woman and man being silly taking a picture. this to me really encapsulated what the selfie is because it shows two people expressing who they are like no one is watching. And at this moment they are truly free, truly free of judgment, thee need for validation and free from marginalization just as Lisa mentions.

    picture:https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwi1ut3Tj8HdAhWRTd8KHaquDtYQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zoom.com.br%2Fcelular%2Fdeumzoom%2Fmelhores-celulares-para-selfies&psig=AOvVaw3hZCBPKY57_TPUQIWIviIV&ust=1537241301549013

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  15. A relationship is already crazy and confusing but having one with an OS system can be a completely different ball game. Theodor and Samantha experience a life different than a human-to- human relationship and this has to do with the main concern that she is programmed, and Theodore cannot tell where is the difference. She does not go to sleep so while he is gone she is growing and doing anything she can because she is so limitless unlike a human. She is so different that she can love others and have continuous conversations with other OS systems anywhere simultaneously while Theodore is behind doing one thing at a time. The absence of a body is what can be compared to an online relationship and it is difficult because they are not completely there. Their presence feels the room and a voice is a powerful thing, but it does not substitute a person being fully there with all their mannerisms and expressions. Sometimes it just isn’t enough when there exists more. In a digital relationship, Theodore and Samantha can communicate and feel each other through their descriptive words. This is because they will never be able to hold each other or fall asleep in each other’s arms, or even go on vacation together. These aspects all have to deal with an absence of a body but his is a part of the situation but not the main factor. Theodore is not as evolving as Samantha, so she outgrows him and has to move on. This evolvement is what kills their relationship but not their love. In the film this is what weighs heavy and after their breakup Theodore is in dark spaces and nostalgic of the different type of love they had.

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