The “selfie” is more than just a picture and the latest song
By Kenneth Lewis, Staff Writer
One of the most iconic terms of the decade is the “selfie,” where one takes a picture of oneself (usually focused only on the face). This trend has inspired studies at many different institutions that examine our obsession with these selfies. Is it the self-obsession the millennial generation is constantly pinned for? Many of these studies do not believe this is simply a generational thing, considering the amount of older celebrities who have succumbed to the selfie trend. Ellen DeGeneres and friends at the Oscars, anyone?
According to a BBC article, studies have shown that our obsession with selfies may stem from our inaccuracies with how we perceive the expressions we make. In studies that show participants a picture of themselves and ask them to recreate the expression, most people cannot accurately make the expression without seeing themselves in a mirror. This shows that we may in fact have a false perception of how we look, and perhaps the selfie trend is a way for us to catalogue our many faces and have a better perception of what we look like.
Other studies show that the selfie trend changes gender dynamics past the age of 40. Under 40, women tend to take more selfies than men. However, past that 40-year mark, the roles switch. There are many different theories that stemmed from results of these studies. One is that women like to hide the aging process more than men, and are therefore less likely to put their images on display when they start to show more signs of age. Yet another theory puts more emphasis on the psychology of the middle-aged man, reporting that he needs more validation and therefore needs to increase the amount of selfies to be approved by women.
The selfie is not only one of the biggest trends of the decade, but has also given us insight in how we perceive ourselves; a phenomenon turned psychological experiment if you will. It will be interesting to see how studies of self-image utilize the selfie trend even more as time goes on. Who knows: The selfie could give us the insight we need to truly make a change on the ways in which we view ourselves- both literally and figuratively.