Selfies are everywhere, especially in this ‘photos or it didn’t happen’ era that appears to be on us. The world is obsessed with taking selfies, liking selfies (allegedly) and sharing selfies. It’s all about the perfect selfie.
“But first, let me take a selfie…”
It must be hard to remember the last time you handed your phone (or God forbid, digital camera) to a friend and said “Here, take my picture” while you posed and feigned some sort of smile. In fact, we’re so far into the era of selfies now that anyone under the age of 16 may not actually remember that at all. Those poor millennials will never know the joy of turning your early-day smartphone (shockingly only fitted with a back camera) around and getting a selfie right first time. It is far easier – and way vainer – to whip out your phone, stare into the front facing camera and snap away. Thank you, Kim Kardashian.
With the advent of Snapchat way back in 2011 (yes, it’s really been that long), it became even easier to take a selfie and share it like people want to see it. Perhaps the reason for the surge in the selfie’s popularity is because they often show the way we see ourselves in a mirror, as opposed to the uncomfortably flipped version of our faces that the traditional camera produces. That is until your typical Snapchat user discovers the app’s ever-changing filters and suddenly cartoon butterflies are strewn across their familiar face or they transform themselves into a Karen Smith-esque mouse with a set of ears. Such is the magic of the selfie-obsessed era.
Selfies hit the headlines only a few weeks ago with the invasion of an iPhone feature dubbed as #BeautyGate (the hashtag is optionally silent). With Apple’s latest attempt at effortlessly outdoing its smartphone competitors, this surprisingly very 2018 feature happened almost by accident. Some people go for a facelift or lip fillers to improve their chances of looking good (hey Britney), millions of teenagers spectacularly failed the seemingly cheaper alternative of the Kylie Jenner lip challenge a few years ago.
Up until a few weeks ago, there was an even more modern way of making sure your selfie is the best of all the Snapchat stories. Just fake it. With Apple’s new secret beauty mode (an Easter Egg of their front facing camera) users could take a selfie and thanks to the sharp base frame for the Smart HDR, their skin would appear much smoother. Of course, while this may seem like a nice easy way to erase any flaws, criticism mounted on the grounds that it is ultimately false. The situation became sort of laughable when one iPhone user pointed out that this not-so miracle feature had totally altered the color of the wall behind her. The software giant have been eerily quiet on this issue, but have in recent weeks acknowledged that they were looking into ‘fixing’ this feature, and with the latest iOS release at the end of October, Apple claimed to have resolved the issue. However, in this selfie-obsessed world, you have to question whether it was worth fixing such a feature.
Whether Snapchat filters, our own human vanity or simply the Kardashians are to blame for this selfie-obsessed generation, it looks like they’re here to stay. We can only hope that selfie-sticks will die a painful death at some point, though.