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Feminist Selfies


Feminist Selfies

How young women are turning a symbol of narcissism into a new kind of empowerment


As far as selfies go, the photo of 17 year old Grammy winner Lorde was a coup. bed in paris with my acne cream on, the singer wrote on Instagram, captioning herself in a black T shirt and messy bun, white splotches visible on her face.


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The scene was utterly ordinary the way most teen girls go to bed each night which was precisely what made it so out of the ordinary. How often do you see a celebrity looking like a regular awkward teen? (Answer: almost never.)


Over the past year, the selfie has pushed its way into our collective consciousness like a pop song you can get out of your head. It was Oxford Dictionary word of the year. It has spawned think pieces about think pieces. It will earn you nine points in Scrabble.


But the Lorde acne cream Authentic Jordan Matthews Jersey selfie is just a tiny example of the ways young women like her and even, yes, some socially conscious celebs are using the self portrait to turn that narcissism notion on its head. In small pockets all over the Internet, women are celebrating their flaws. They making silly faces (ugly selfies!) and experimenting with identities. In a culture that places immeasurable value on a woman beauty, women are using selfies to show what women really look like no makeup, acne cream and all.


I spent a good portion of the last year looking at the ways that imagery can impact our perception of women, and how we can overturn sexist tropes through mass media. But the selfie is doing the same thing through mass culture. Here are nine ways the selfie is empowering women.


Selfies Push Back Against Traditional Beauty Norms


Self portraits have been an outlet for feminist expression, and subversion, for a long time. But when it comes to modern day beauty representations, what we see daily is often a familiar spectrum of vanilla: white, gaunt, emotionless and airbrushed beyond recognition. Selfies are pushing back against that beauty ideal, through thousands of images of women that they created and shared themselves. make possible a vast array of gazes that simply were not seen before. Take Advantage of a Platform That Girls Rule


It should be no surprise that, according to a recent survey by Dove, 63% of women believe social media not print, film or music is having the most pivotal impact on today definition of beauty. That because it a world where girls rule. Teens and young women use social media often and in more ways than men on almost every site, from Authentic Evan Mathis Jersey Facebook to Instagram to Tumblr. On Twitter and Tumblr, the FeministSelfie hashtag reveals an epic stream of women in all shapes and sizes, engaged in all sorts of activities, while 365FeministSelfie project started by an administrator at the University of Illinois at Chicago Jordan Matthews Jersey encourages women to take a snapshot of themselves each day for a year, no matter how they look. spend so much time trying to hide our flaws because the culture has set it up that you have to be ashamed if you not perfect, Cynthia Wade, a filmmaker and creator of the short film Selfie told me recently, Kiko Alonso Jersey for an article about ugly selfies in the New York Times. think girls are tired of it. But selfies put the power in girls hands. allows you to have complete control over one moment in time, 15 year old Harper Glantz, one of the subjects of the film Selfie, told me a few months back. school, me and other girls sort Authentic Kiko Alonso Jersey of feel smothered just by social pressures that are hard to even detect sometimes. I think what a selfie does is that it really allows you to express yourself in a way that you feel comfortable with. Showcase Faces Not Normally on Display


huge swath of women and girls don see themselves portrayed in mainstream media, explains Jennifer Evan Mathis Eagles Jersey Pozner, a media critic and the founder of Women in Media and News, which Kiko Alonso Eagles Jersey aims to amplify female voices. And yet, through the sheer number of selfies uploaded daily selfies that showcase women in all forms women are upending notions about whose faces are beautiful, or mainstream, enough to be seen. breaking through the media gatekeepers, says Pozner. they saying, great the way I am. Are a Form of Social Currency


James Franco recent ridiculousness aside, the actor made a good point when he wrote, in an op ed in the New York Times, that is power. a visual culture, he said, selfie quickly and easily shows, not tells, how you feeling, where you are, what you doing. In our age of social media, the selfie is the new way to look someone right in the eye and say, this is me. Challenge the Notion That You Need a Reason to Be Seen


Narcissus may have drowned because he was too enchanted with his own reflection, but selfies challenge the idea that girls can revel in their own Jordan Matthews Eagles Jersey reflection or feel good about a photo of themselves. are one way for a female to make space for herself in the world: to say here, this is what I actually look like, my story counts, too,' says Pamela Grossman, the director of visual trends at Getty Images, and my co curator on a feminist photo curation project. allow girls to shine on their own terms. Aren Just About What You Look Like, They About What You Doing


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