Making a case for the selfie

MANILA, Philippines – With high tech smartphones in hand, we find ourselves now living in the era of the selfie.

It's a far cry from when modern photography was invented more than a century ago. Back then, only the elite can afford to have their photographs taken because the price was too steep for the average man and the entire process was too rigorous. In fact, for many, the only time they were finally able to have their portraits taken is in death, as a souvenir for the loved ones they left behind.

This essentially means that in those days – at least until more affordable options were developed – only those who have access to cameras are able to take their own photographic selfies – or more appropriately, self-portraits.

What’s a selfie for?

#ME. A selfie, especially when itu2019s heavily filtered or edited and comes with a lot of hashtags, usually earns mocking remarks from others

#ME.

A selfie, especially when itu2019s heavily filtered or edited and comes with a lot of hashtags, usually earns mocking remarks from others

But these days, as we all know, smartphones have made it so much easier to take snapshots of virtually anything, selfies included, and share it to the world through social media. (READ: The online etiquette of the ‘selfie generation’)

Unfortunately, people who take too many selfies have been dismissed as shallow and self-centered. How can anyone take so many photos of themselves when they look the same anyway, they say, What a waste of online and phone space.

If it’s filtered, heavily edited, or comes with a poignant yet unrelated quote and hashtags like #OOTD, #selfie, #me, #likeforlike, and #blessed – laughter and snide remarks would most likely also ensue.

Arguably, it’s this mindset that reduced the selfie to a mere symbol for vanity. But actually, everyone has different reasons for taking selfies, and doing it for vanity is but one of these.

BEYOND VANITY. Everyone has different reasons for taking selfies

BEYOND VANITY.

Everyone has different reasons for taking selfies

For the expressive soul, it’s their best tool for self-expression. For the longest time and through different means like painting and writing, self-expression has always been put on high regard. So why should the selfie be any different?

For those on the quest to having a healthier lifestyle, taking selfies means keeping track of progress. Before selfies became popular, people took note of these changes by writing them down. Now, some just opt to record their developments through #gymselfies. 

For those who are transitioning from one state or stage to another, it’s a way to document every step of their way. One fine example is the Female to “Male” project by award-winning Toronto-based photographer Wynne Neilly, in which he documented his journey of gender transformation.

And for the rest? Well, taking selfies is simply something that they like doing. Really, taking a picture of yourself doesn't need to have a deep meaning behind it!

To sum it all up, whatever reason you may have for taking selfies, know that it's perfectly fine to enjoy doing it and that there’s nothing wrong with it. Naysayers might claim otherwise but you can just go on right ahead and share yourself to the world.

Now, tell us, why do YOU take selfies? – Rappler.com