#Generation Self-Obsessed

We’ve all heard the terms “generation me” “mypod generation” or “generation why”. The nicknames for millennia’s are endless. We are the first generation to be able to communicate with the other side of the world, the first generation to have grown up on the Internet, the first generation that vlogs, tweets, or otherwise can post everything about our lives. One of the most commonly critiqued parts of our newly formed “internet culture” is the selfie. Selfies are everywhere, nearly everyone has taken one, and they have reached every corner of the internet. It seems everyone, everywhere, is turning their camera around. So why do people seem to hate them so much?

Teens are often called “self-obsessed” “egotistical” or “arrogant”. However, people have been documenting themselves for hundreds of years. In the nineteenth century people would stay in the same position for minutes, and pay photographers to take their picture. Before the invention of the camera, people would paint self-portraits or sit still for hours as they had themselves painted. Wanting to capture how you look is no new invention; it’s a human trait that has simply adapted with technological advancements.

What’s so bad about loving yourself, anyways? With today’s media constantly telling everyone (young women in particular) to look thinner, to have a bigger chest, to get rid of their wrinkles, or to otherwise look “perfect”, self-love is as important as ever. We are constantly told that we need to be prettier, and that we are never good enough. There is an entire industry surrounding convincing beautiful women that they need to buy whatever product is advertised to fit society’s skewed version of beauty. Rates of depression, anorexia, and other mental illnesses are sky high, and yet selfies are considered the main problem with this generation. Over 90% of teenaged girls wish they could change part of how they look, and 7 in 10 feel inadequate, and around 12% of teenaged boys have tried some form of steroid to gain muscle. These don’t sound like the actions of a generation of narcissists.

So go ahead and take that selfie. Be smart about it, but don’t feel guilty for loving yourself.


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