Selfies and remarks about them seem to be dominating social networks at the moment. I get that the whole notion, and the clever (but tacky) term for them, is a logical product of social networking and the technology that supports it. Touch phones and tablets and their tools made selfies inevitable I guess. I’d largely been ignoring the sheep-like spread of selfies through Facebook and Twitter, but it turned out I was a bit of a sheep too. On a recent visit to Bruges, the selfie I produced looked more like a still from a Bergman film than anything cheerful and social!
What I have found more interesting and also rather frustrating has been the recent rush of selfies by women, partly attached to a campaign for a charity, where women have been putting up selfies ‘without makeup’. There is so much in this that frustrates me and saddens me. WHY is this so provocative, so ‘radical’ that it creates a furore. I’m glad for the charity that they have benefitted, but really disappointed that one of the reasons they have done so is because it is considered such an unusual thing that a woman would put a photo up on a social network with no make-up on!! How many men would even be considering this. Yes, I know some men wear make-up, but the majority of men on Facebook and Twitter have all of their photos without make-up. Virtually all of the photos (maybe all! I honestly don’t know) of me are without make-up. I’m middle-aged. I wear make-up sometimes, but really mostly, what you get is me, clean, mostly tidy (tho I have long wild hair, so sometimes not), fresh faced and often smiling (though not on the aforementioned Bergman selfie!) I don’t even think about the fact that the photos of me out there relating to both work and play are make-up free. Good grief I’m a radical, I’m weird, I’m strange; maybe I’m a man? In my weird world men or women can wear makeup but really it isn’t automatic for anyone, and mostly what you get is people smiling.