The Art of the Selfie

Hsieh_Selfie-1The proper lighting, the right angle and the perfect filter.

For some people, those three things mean nothing. But, for those who are connoisseurs of the selfie, those three things mean everything.

The “selfie” has progressed into something far more than a simple picture. It has been transformed in recent years into (for lack of a better term) an art form, and like any true art form, has accumulated mixed reviews.

“I think that selfies now are more acceptable in public. If you see someone taking one for snapchat it’s kind of funny,” says senior industrial engineering major Natalie Roberts. “It’s when people start taking them in frat bathrooms, at the gym, or while driving that it’s not okay. Do less.”

Freshman Jon Moran, division of undergraduate studies major, feels the same as Roberts. Selfies should be humorous.

“Selfies are always okay and always great as long as they’re sarcastic or something crazy is going on in the background,” he says.

Behind the brief moment it takes to physically snap a selfie, there is often a great deal of preparation. Selfie takers must ask themselves questions like, “Where should I take the picture?” and “Does it look natural?” and perhaps most importantly, “What kind of selfie do I want to take?”

That’s right. Just as other forms of art have categories, so do selfies. Here are some of the most popular.

The Serious Selfie

The person taking this selfie is 100 percent serious about their picture. They may be sporting their best makeup and a smile, or perhaps they are giving a cold, smoldering look. Either way, it is not a joke. Typically, you can find an inspirational quote or song lyric captioning the image as well. If the person really means business, they may even go as far as to filter it in black and white.

The Disguise Selfie

This is a selfie that some people may not immediately recognize as a selfie. If you who opt for a “disguise selfie,” it will include either their pet (most likely a cat or dog) or a baby in the picture. The animal or small child will very likely not even be looking in the camera, or anywhere near the camera, but you’ll go ahead and post the picture anyway. Although the disguise selfie is not technically by yourself, it still counts.

The Show-Off Selfie

This is a selfie with purpose. Changed your hair? Got a new ear piercing? Finally mastered the smoky eye look? That’s what the show-off selfie is for! It is a way to show something new or different about yourself to a lot of people all at once, and have some fun doing it.

The Mirror Selfie

The mirror selfie is exactly what it sounds like. Taking a picture of yourself in a mirror, the mirror selfie is most frequently used for full body shots rather than just your face. Mirror selfie takers are often in a gym or drunkenly in a bathroom, but hey, if taking pictures in a mirror is your thing, selfie on.

It’s true that some people cannot stand any kind of selfie, regardless of the motive behind it. Others love them. But, maybe that’s the beauty of a selfie. Be silly and have fun because the only person whose opinion of your selfie truly matters is, well, yourself.

Photo by Jonathan Hsieh

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