In defense of selfies … cliche or art?

The tide is turning on the art of selfies.  After Ellen, President Obama, and other celebs started participating in the absorbing process of taking pictures of themselves and then posting on various social media sites, the novelty of selfies wore off.  In some circles selfies have become ‘old school’, hackneyed, and subject to ridicule.

My daughter, who seriously lifts, takes selfies of herself before and after workouts and often has her trainer take snaps of her in process.  She posts these images frequently with words of encouragement to other lifters and, probably, to herself as well. The pics, I now understand, are for her a pictorial record of her progress.  A picture speaks a thousand words or is that a thousand pictures speak thousands of words.

Because of her mom’s seeming obsession with selfies, my granddaughter recently challenged her mother to desist from the selfie taking on a long holiday weekend excursion together at a water park.  My daughter agreed, reluctantly.  What is one to post on Facebook if one’s most available model, oneself, is no longer available?

My daughter basically succeeded but instead had others take pictures of her and many of these got posted.

Around that time I came across the article below about an art student who used selfies in a novel way to re-stage various Old Masters (remember the heavy, rather dark dutch paintings) using selfies for each person posed in a given painting.  This project was part of her university studies.

W&L graduating senior perfects the art of selfies – Virginia News And Politics.

This article reminded me that Rembrandt and Van Gogh, in particular, had drawn or painted many self-portraits of themselves through their lifetimes.  Even Rockwell did at least one self-portrait.  These ‘selfies’ are treated with respect and as masterpieces in some cases.  Are those works trite?


So let’s not be so quick to demean selfies.  It just could be an art form.


One thought on “In defense of selfies … cliche or art?

  1. Great point. That is an angle I had not considered. I think I will still leave the selfies to others!

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