Wiko has become my selfie buddy, too. It's fun, spending hours and hours testing light and angle and shit. I actually find this whole selfie hype pretty interesting.
It all started with MySpace and the whole pics-from-above thing. Hands up who's never ever posted a profile picture where the only perfectly visible feature of yours was, well, your roots, if you (like the rest of us, MySpace Generation product) used to color your hair pink or bleach blond or black or a combination of the three.
It was around 2005, the first digital cameras were just out ridiculously overpriced and well, just ridiculous, if you compare my first 6mpx point-and-shoot to the new 32243455mpx hybrid bridge mirrorless whatever Nikon. Or to the new 10mpx iphone something camera, for that matter.
It was not an easy life, the one of us, narcissistic cunts of the Scene Generation. It literally took DAYS to actually be able to catch a glimpse of your own face in pictures, since well, you had to understand where the bloody lens was pointed first. Dirty job, but someone got to do it, right. We had tripods, some even managed to get themselves professional cameras (you could spot them in the infamous mirror bathroom pictures, for those who wanted to look more like photographers/artists/emokiddos with a tormented soul and not afraid of showing theirs scars), how can I forget all the girls and boys with Canon 350d and basic kit lens that were actually the cool kids because they had expensive gear to shoot their so called alternative models friends in hope of becoming the next Suicide Girl or Sick Girl (yeah, in Italy we had Sick Girl, needless to say it was siiiiick, can't you tell). Hard life for the fathers and mothers of the modern selfie movement.
Then the first mobile phones with camera and WAP came, and the revolution started. You couldn't upload pictures from your mobile phone to your MySpace (at the time Facebook was not so big yet, at least not among us youngsters, it was considered something more, like, "adult" and "serious"), but you could dowload them and upload them from your computer. Good old way. Needless to say you'd spend a few hours on Photoshop doing this and that, someone just using the curves and saturation tools to adjust light, exposure, contrast and color, some other doing more articulated stuff like liquify and try to make themselves look skinnier and erase pimples and even change their hair color, before your avatar was ready to be shown to your Internet audience.
Then the first iphone came, the rest is history.
Social network after social network, app after app, filter after filter, our Internet presence and image will never be the same again.
MySpace was replaced by Facebook, where we even use our real names, we share what we actually DO on a daily basis. Well, mostly. With Instagram, we even share pictures in real time, we just pick the filter we like the most and bang!, it's there for everyone to see. No hours spent using Photoshop, no download/resize/upload, nothing. Apparently everything's easier, faster, more real. Apparently.
I'm interested in this whole selfie thing, I was saying.
I really am.
It's fascinating. Through a selfie you can learn so many things about a person's mind and general self image and in (not so) extreme cases, self-esteem, too. You can understand what they like and what they don't like about themselves, you can understand the way they want to portray themselves to the rest of the world, you can understand the way they see themselves, you can even understand how the world does actually perceive them.
Now it's easier, you don't need to test and test multiple times to get the perfect shot, the perfect shot that rapresents exactly how you wish to present yourself to the world. It may take shorter time, but that doesn't mean the process is less articulated. Make up, hair, filter, the (beautiful) people you're with (and that, of course, you'll tag along in the shot), the place you'll tag yourself at. How many likes the shot will get. The #hashtags you'll make up to get noticed in this ocean of (mostly useless) images and get said likes. It's more organic, it fully defines (or helps to) how you want to be seen by your internet audience.
Surprisingly the picture from above is still the most common, and now we also have the elevator mirror one, to show off your outfit of the day (OOTD) or of the night (OOTN). The outfit is also very important, you'll want to look your best even when you're going grocery shopping, there's an invisible audience always following you in your pocket and your smartphone's the door to this other world where you are what you want to be.
I started thinking about this selfie thing as something actually interesting and not just some narcissistc idiocy after seeing the pictures of this actually very pretty girl I kind of know on Instagram. You can understand it's her, yet her face looks different. it's all because of the angle she always chooses, chin down. It hit me because it means she has something with the shape of her face, that I actually find cute, but since in every picture she does this chin down thing, she probably wants her "audience" to imagine her face a bit less round and childish and with more definite cheeckbones and nose. She's, of course, not the only one to do that. What we used to do with Photoshop, now we do with angle and perspective.
Using the front camera in my phone, I actually found out I, too, can manage my features the way I want. I have my favourite angle. I have my favourite light. Playing the model game for a few years now I obviously already knew about all this, but now that I'm in full control, it's wow, cool. So interesting. I still find it pretty boring after a while and I feel like an idiot, but sometimes I love testing and experimenting and the result is amusing. It can be a healthy way of knowing yourself and your strong points and your weak points, it' actually no different than wearing make up everyday.
And now, for your own amusement (and well, for mine), a collection of selfies from the MySpace era to Instagram, to make you fully understand what I'm talking about! Enjoy lol!