HelloSociety Blog

Influencer-Powered Social Media Marketing

Emily Carrick

June 24, 2016

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National Selfie Day 2016 was just a few days ago, on June 21. Having recently written a 15-page essay on the visual and social implications of selfies, I consider myself a connoisseur of selfie culture. As an homage to selfie academia and the recent official holiday, here’s a top five list of best grammed selfies.

1. Kim Kardashian

It wouldn’t be a selfie list without Kim Kardashian West. This is an iconic Kim selfie. Posted in late 2014, the image shows Kim’s sultry, pouty face… and a little sliver of baby North, who is mostly excised from the image. When criticized for cropping her daughter out, Kim tweeted: “Her eyes were closed and I was feeling my look! Can I live?!?!” Never change, Kim.

2. Ezra Koenig

Another famed selfie-snapper is Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig. “When I’m on instagram and I see that somebody took a picture of themselves,” he says, “I’m like, ‘Thank you.’ I don’t need to see a picture of the sky, the trees, plants. There’s only one you.” This selfie-trifecta (or, “the HOLY TRINITY SELFIE”) is classic Koenig: both ironic and earnest.

3. Joe Biden

One fascinating aspect of today’s culture is politicians’ presence on social media (like Hillary Clinton’s inimitable “Delete your account” tweet to Donald Trump, which could be the topic of its own dissertation in modern media communication). Case in point: this selfie snapped by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, posted on Biden’s Instagram. Not a great selfie, quality-wise — blurry, faces only half in frame — but man, is it relevant culturally.

4. Beyonce

Beyonce once went to the Louvre and snapped some #artselfies with her husband and the Mona Lisa. Incredible. The Instagrammed one just shows her manicured nails flashing a peace sign, the Mona Lisa out of focus in the background. The traditional selfie, posted to Twitter and showing Beyonce mimicking a sculpture, is practically a thesis image for selfie representation in the modern age.

5. Daisy Ridley

Another complicated element of social media culture is the dichotomy between authenticity and construction, but many celebrities emphasize the truth of unreality. Take actress Daisy Ridley, who recently grammed a heavily-filtered picture of her face, eyeliner carefully flicked on, with the incongruent Snapchat caption “I woke up like this #nofilter #nomakeup.” She expanded upon this in her caption: “Social media is great but also a bit scary cause what people post is the most filtered, most carefully chosen and cleverly edited moments of their lives… But I actually do love myself, I try to think good thoughts always and am surrounded by the most wonderful people, so I’m keeping it balanced (like the Force, obvs).” Keeping it real and adorable, Daisy.

There are way more interesting aspects to selfie culture than just celebrity selfies; I assure you, entire lives of academic study could be spent on selfie sociology. As selfie scholar Rachel Syme once noted, “Self-regard is nothing to be ashamed of; it is merely a survival tactic. And selfies are an instrument in this survival, tiny rages against the dying of the light (or the iPhone battery, whichever comes first)… Your selfie is an artifact and a gift. People in your own time might not see it that way… They will experience your face as an assault. Pay them no mind. Your selfie has already ventured off to the future, where all of us are dead.” Selfies are time capsules of identity, buried in the webs of the Internet. One day historians and anthropologists may study today’s culture based only on our ancient selfies. Until then, post on, friends.

 
 

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