BEIRUT: No, this isn’t going to be an article about how bad selfies are and how technology is ruining our lives. I’m not a sixty-year-old woman who misses the good old days when there were only Polaroid instant cameras. I’m just a kid, and I’m writing to make a point.
So, selfies. We all love ‘em. We just love to see how good we look at all times of the day. Well, those of us who are rampantly narcissistic do, at least. Or at least the ones with self-esteem issues. Take your pick. Regardless, selfies are still extremely popular.
No one you know has never taken a selfie, and that’s just fine. Selfies are great, even I take a BUNCH on a good day.
With the advancement of smartphones—especially throughout the last five years—the number of selfies has dramatically increased. Like, it wasn’t even a gradual thing. One day it was like five selfies posted on Instagram a day, the next it was 6,623,419,218.
It really should be one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Realistically speaking, though, the average young adult would take around 25,700 selfies during their whole lifetime; that’s close to one a day.
When asked why they take selfies, May Rawas, 24, and Sarah Abou Zeid, 18, said they’d send them to friends for validation or post them online for their Instagram feed.
The thing with selfies isn’t that they’re entirely superficial and materialistic (we all require attention, after all), it’s what this materialism and superficiality do to a person’s self-esteem, especially in young girls. Researchers have found a breathtaking connection between selfies and self-worth. When asked if selfies had ever made him feel self-conscious of himself, 18-year-old Paolo Kasbani said, “Yes. Usually, selfies show traits in the face you just don’t like, like acne, a big nose, all that.”
Abou Zeid also remarked that she often edits her face in pictures to remove her blemishes.
We as humans, slave to our needs, are ready to throw humility out the window for the sake of a good post. It’s a sort of self-indulgence that is widely prevalent today.
This exposure is what caused the plastic surgery epidemic we observe today. In 2016, 229,551 plastic surgeries were done in the US, in patients from the ages 13-19 alone.
You don’t want to know what the overall number with all ages is. Imagine being 15-year-old thinking you’re too ugly to go out and about without a lip augmentation or nose re-shaping. Unsurprisingly, Lebanese teens are just as ready to perform plastic surgery to rectify anything they think need be; student Emanuel El Hadi said he’d “get a nose job because looking at it makes me want to die.”
Aside from plastic surgery, an incredibly high increase in makeup sales has resulted from this selfie fad. Everyone’s eyebrows and nose have to look a certain way or else, it would be time to face the expertise of the contouring brush and eyebrow pencil.
This is the kind of mentality that gives selfies a bad reputation, even though they themselves are harmless. Humans ruin everything.
In short, don’t stop taking selfies because honestly we all need reassurance from friends about how good we look every day, but stop being so influenced by Instagram models because we all know where that will lead us (crippling low self-esteem that will result in total self-destruction is where in case that wasn’t clear).
Karine Ballout, 18, is a media studies major at AUB.
Annahar English is officially launching a teen-writing section entitled Gen. Z Voices and invites all students, ages 14 to 18, to submit essays, school-oriented news articles, life commentaries and more. No school assignments or poetry please, thnx. Tell the readers about what is on the minds
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