Yours Truly

wordpress blog stats

Y is for yours truly, in defense of selfies.

                                                                                                                                                       
Letter Y – 4/29/15

In the overused expression, love ’em or hate ’em, [such-and-such] are here to stay, let’s insert “selfies.” They’re not ever going away. You’ll never convince people en masse there’s something wrong with their self-fascination. Because there isn’t. Lumping in self-fascination with vanity doesn’t cut it. Was Van Gogh vain? Did he paint self-protraits because he felt particularly sexy without that extra ear? In each of the portraits, you could see the self-study in his eyes.

You say insanity, I say tomato.

But am I comparing selfie-takers to Van Gogh? Hell no, that man wouldn’t know a front-facing camera from a shoe!

Some like attention and some don’t, but you’d be hard pressed to find a single person without more thoughts and opinions about themselves than any other subject. I say, thank goodness for self-fascination. It’s what makes us grow and learn, and not leave the house with spinach in our teeth since we’re constantly looking in the mirror.

So the girl with her fascinatingly round breasts and perfect cleavage, splattered all over her Instagram? It’s true that she likes attention, but it’s also true that there are those who want to give it to her. Ahem. It is a symbiotic relationship between exhibitionist and voyeur, and we may as well let them be. It may take ten thousand boob shots, but eventually, they will each learn something about themselves.

Yeah no. I’m not personally vested in what they might learn.

That’s because there are more fascinating subjects at hand, like other selves. Like one’s self.

Here’s another reason why self-fascination is good and necessary: Sometimes you’re the only one who finds yourself fascinating, and that poor neglected ego of yours needs you. And if you’re like me, your self-fascination exceeds such bounds that you don’t have time to notice how few people agree with you.

GG Selfies4

Maybe my tone is confusing in this post. Maybe you can’t tell if it’s satirical or serious. I’ll tell you: It’s both. I’m exactly split in the middle on this subject. The studious, intellectual in me shuns all things frivolous. Freaking selfies? Even the word is silly.

But the fun, playful, honest me takes hundreds of them to find the good one or two with which to show off.

Of course we’re showing off! We’re all always showing off. Fortunately, the field in which “we’re all always” doing whatever, is a level field.

So selfie away, my friends. Maybe just don’t overdo it. They’re generally going to be hit and miss, forever frowned on by hoity-toities, squeed over by blossoming teenagers and leered at by dudes taking a gaming breather. If you find there’s a place for selfies, you can take measures to avoid making too many teeth grit. For one thing, there’s no reason to be repetitive. We get it: you’re good-looking. Now be original too and give us different aspects of yourself.

I may have both of my ears, but like Van Gogh, I’ve been interested in self-portraits since before the existence of the digital camera. One day, I’ll scan in the dozens of photo-booth pictures I took almost daily while living in Florence, Italy at the age of seventeen. Part of the time, I was living on the streets — yes, that is correct, I visited the photo-booth even as a homeless person.

For this post, I went in search of my creative selfies. That’s when I discovered I’ve featured myself in far more categories of selfie than merely artful. Aside from a galaxy of I’m Really Bored, Crazy or Both Selfies, categories include the All Dressed-Up Selfie, the Back Home Drunk Selfie, the Waking Up Hungover Selfie, the Crying Over a Breakup Selfie and the I Gave Myself a Shitty Haircut Selfie. That’s just a small sample of categories.

GG Selfies

Today I’ll mainly stick to the artful ones. But don’t worry, I’ll come back to embarrass myself with the rest in some other project.

There are also the Audition Selfies, when I’m asked to dress like anything from “geek” to “gallery owner” to “red carpet attendee.” The irony isn’t lost on me of being someone who touts having a strong sense of self while leading a chameleon existence.

GG Selfies3

GG Geek

Meanwhile, no need to limit myself to only Van Gogh comparisons, because “when on thin ice, may as well dance.” For example, the below is an actual reflection — not a composite — so I’d like to give my Picasso eyes a bit of credit too.

Picasso Reflection

And here, we approach Warhol-esque.

GG Study1

Conjoined.

Conjoined

The face as seen through, in conjunction with or on other objects is endlessly intriguing to me. I wear fuchsia fingerless gloves when my typing hands get cold, and through one of them as well, snapped a shot of “the face.” (Very first group above,third picture.)

GG Selfies1

The fortune-teller and the haunted.

Haunted GG

This can get obnoxious, I know, so I’ll stop here. In my defense, I take portraits of other people too, because I’m equally fascinated by what their faces can do. But for spontaneous, on-the-spot experiments, no better model exists than the self. A remote control for the camera doesn’t hurt either.
 

Sign Up

  For new GG posts!

Y


~ Part of the A to Z Challenge ~
A post a day except Sunday for the month of April to cover topics beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Events always real, names always changed.

Cathartic Monkeyism returns in May.


GG◊  Thanks for your comments, shares and likes. Most of all, sincere thanks for reading.
◊  If you enjoy and want more GG, do sign up!
◊  You can also follow GG verbal and pictorial missives on TwitterFacebook and  Instagram.


You’re the best part of blogging
~ so tell me everything ~


WordPress informs me that below this paragraph, some random ad might appear unless I spring for the no-ad upgrade. If so, apologies.

Advertisements

11 comments

  1. But Gigi, you are quite completely and entirely fascinating. Never vacuous, and I love that your deep thoughts and shallow ones dovetail so perfectly. Kudos to you for making this work. I do love hearing your thoughts 🙂

    1. Lizzi, thanks for recognizing it’s not necessarily easy to “make this work.” I love that you see things. You always do.

      1. Nope. It’s really not. It takes time and effort and CRAFT, and you have that in bags 🙂 Always have had, ever since I first read you 🙂

  2. All artists everywhere will attest that the artist herself is the best possible model – cheap, always available, and understands exactly what you want. And these are art – pure and simple.

    1. This is incredibly lovely. Thank you for making me not feel foolish. As narcissistic as the whole endeavor is, it still feels pretty vulnerable to admit it, you know?

  3. Mandi · · Reply

    I love your selfies! I think I might need to send you a selfie stick, if I can wrestle it away from Beth. You’re stunning, no matter what pose and even more beautiful IRL.

    1. Don’t risk your friendship with Beth! I have a remote control.

      And you are always so generous with your compliments, thank you. Meanwhile, you’re this hot little pixie everybody wants to snatch and keep. But you’re too quick, too damn quick.

  4. Love it! You have the exact same opinion as I do – split down the middle! Fascinated with myself but embarrased to admit publicly that I am! 😀

    1. I feel like everyone probably does. There’s something off-putting when we perceive people to be immodest — it’s such a strange, yes, fascinating line of balance.

  5. I swear I could read you all day… I absolutely love how you intertwine an incredible amount of humor, deep thinking and twisted and tampered perspectives within one piece. You are such a gifted writer…

    I’m on the fence about selfies. People that flood the gates with them regularly, really annoy me actually. I find it incredibly narcissistic or profoundly insecure. I think I took one of me a few years ago- most pics I take and share of me are with people. I’m not fascinated in my appearance as much as I am incredibly curious about my heart and my mind and the ways in which I think and feel and that BIG. FAT. WHY.

    I hate the way I look in pictures and rarely get a shot I’m happy with, so there’s that too. 😉

    1. Chris, the way you’ve described the layers of writing makes the effort it sometimes takes all worthwhile to me, thank you. Not often would someone throw in “twisted and tampered perspective” with “deep thinking,” but you did, and it’s right on the nose. That you read with such understanding and generosity, means everything to me.

      I should clarify (and I will probably go back into the post and add a sentence), the “fascination” with the face for me has to do with how what’s going on inside the person manifests in their expressions.

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: