SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME, each era has forever monumented a social breakthrough changing the course of history.
Sure, we can’t deny that the first Model T car in 1908, Bill Gates introduction of the first personal computer in 1976, and last but not least, the world wide web in 1991 would surely be recognized as impacting all of mankind
To be honest, Neil Armstrong’s first small step for man on the moon dwarves to the giant step the “selfie” had on mankind: the 21st century emergence of the unabashed, unembarrassed, poser self photos that would put Derek Zoolander’s Blue Steel to shame.
Since the infamous 2010 iPhone 4s selfie, society has never been the same. Perfecting your own Blue Steel look (pursed duck lips, 45 degree angled profile, finishing with your own exclusive surprised expression) is paramount to social survival. And until recently I never fully appreciated the fierce unrelenting dedication required in branding your signature pose.
Sitting across the bar, as I was enjoying an apres ski drink, I noticed a seemingly subdued girl sipping on a glass of wine. Surprisingly, as the rest of us looked haggard from the day of skiing, she looked incredibly fresh. I then noticed that though she was wearing a ski jacket her high heels were the give away that she hadn’t skied at all. Okay, I reasoned. she must be waiting for a friend. Resuming back to my thoughts about the great day on the slopes, I was abruptly interrupted by an outburst of what I deemed the selfie s’more. One selfie is never enough. It’s a selfie some more and more and more until the perfect rehearsed candid moment is captured.
The once subdued girl transfigured before my eyes. Her entire demure changed. The selfie s’more photo shoot had begun. Laughing and flipping her hair, with newly applied lip gloss I looked around assuming a group of friends must
have joined her. Yet, no one. Quite bewildered at first, at last I spotted the tell-tale sign of the extended camera arm. She was doing a remote here on the ski slopes. This was too good to miss. I had to stay. I ordered another drink not to seem conspicuous.
Oblivious to everyone around, her private photo session was in full swing. She was intent on branding
herself as the hey, had a fabulous day on the slopes, yet still look this good afterwards type of girl. Her attempts pursued:
Attempt #1: the alluring Lauren Bacall eyes caught in a mysterious upward glance, with a Madonna shoulder twist while holding a signature pouting lips pose.
Attempt #2: candid shot of laughing while toasting to imaginary friends that would have existed somewhere off camera.
Attempt #3: The classic scissor fingers framing the eyes, with a backward pose turned forward as if to say who me?
Then the recess of evaluation: pondering which photos if any passed the signature look for the final upload to Instagram.
Somehow, I felt part of the camera crew as if I was on location. Should I lift up numbers like Dancing with the Stars, which look I was voting for? Should I applaud in approval to root her on? In the awkward position of sitting directly in front of her, I was stumped at what to do? Egg her on or ignore her. I decided to give her a thumbs up and keep drinking my drink.
The Selfie culture has definitely taken over. Posers have dominated our once modest society
ushering in an entire array of breakout photo ops. It could be right in the middle of a conversation, the stranger sitting next to you, or in an unsuspecting elevator. Posers are everywhere, and you never knew when they will emerge.
Instead of selfies why don’t we start a new rage called extras?…like in the movies, adding strangers in the background laughing, cheering you on, as if your own personal entourage?
As inventions go this would be a forerunner. The new iPhone with the extras feature. And then we could invite strangers to join our pictures. Excuse me, shooting an extra. Want to link photos and joint instagram?
I think now our only alternative is, as the saying goes, if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em.