Selfies are for Girls (Unless They’re Good)

The Carceral Net

Here I am going to consider how the critique of selfies acts to gender the practice.

Aside from its own perceived inadequacies – too numerous, not creative enough – the selfie is seen as being devalued by virtue of its associations: with celebrities, young people and especially young women. These connections, made between subjects and practices that are both presented as vapid and insignificant, come to reinforce each other, with criticism of one transferring easily onto the other. By being used as a vehicle for women to present and reflect on their appearance, the selfie bears the taint of being seen as a vain and attention-seeking act of self-promotion. And in turn, when women take selfies, the relationship between woman-as-selfie, and selfie-as-woman, naturalises the accusations of narcissism. Either is held to represent the failings of the other.

But this gendered association of the selfie is not necessarily reflected in practice…

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