No need for a camera man. In the 1980s and 90s, a good photo was defined as a Kodak moment, as Kodak films dominated the photo scene, before the arrival of the digital camera. First forward to 2014 and we neither need the Kodak film nor the camera man. Enter the phone camera and we have the selfie. But a selfie is so yesterday if you haven’t taken part in the Selfie Olympics, writes , Jonathan Adengo
As we live our lives through social media, a conversation might fall short of communicating what we feel, which a photo can do in an instant.
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all channels where we can quickly share things and upload photos instantly. It has left many posting photos of themselves at parties, in the bathroom, at school, in the library, in their bedroom, and others even taking them in their ‘sleep’, forgetting we are not dumb; we know you were awake because you took the picture.
In comes the selfie; the social trend where you take pictures of yourself, and then post online for the world to see, like making a recording of yourself ogling at the mirror; such self-indulgence.
In 2013, the Oxford Dictionary named it the word of the year and included it in the dictionary. It defined it as a photograph taken where by the person taking is also the subject of the photograph. This photo, usually with a shot of the hand is quickly uploaded on various social networking sites.
It is hard to pinpoint how it all started. But it must have been very simple. We are assuming it was started by a university student (these things are usually done by them) on a bored week day evening, when they had no plot. Lying on the bed in their hostel, they reached for the phone and captured an image of themselves. It was done. A few minutes later, the photo was online, on her Facebook timeline, with a caption like this: “Here having the blast of my life!” With the coming of Instagram, that is purely photo based, things could only get worse.
The selfie is now a part of us. Even Barack Obama takes one. It has grown and has now changed to become a source for comic relief on the Internet.
In come the Selfie Olympics
As we ushered in the New Year, social media was awash with a trend dubbed the Selfie Olympics. Yes for those of us who never even dreamt of ever taking part in the Olympics, the selfie social media craze which has been so kind as to create Olympics where it is not athleticism which is considered, but who can take the weirdest selfie. Selfie Olympics do not require qualifications. All you need is a smart phone with a camera and you are good to go.
For what it matters, different young people exhibited the deadliest styles in the Selfies taking shots of themselves sleeping on top of the door, in the sink and even in the bathroom. It certainly did not spare the elderly as an old man was also quick to take a shot of his packs and then upload it. These stunts only left you laughter for days. How can you explain an airborne naked selfie? And then perhaps the winner of all was the one taken in the oven, worse still the guy inside was dark which could leave you thinking he got burnt inside. A Facebook page, Selfie’s Olympics created for such photos is reported to have garnered 30,000 likes in just three days.
But those who are not daring enough to take part in the Selfie Olympics, you can stick to the basics, like the most common selfies like the ones below.
Selfie in your privacy
Many people have given us a chance to take a sneak peak into their private lives by uploading selfies in otherwise private places and moments. Selfies are taken in the shower, in the toilets and in disorganised bedrooms. Here, girls spare nothing, as a chance in front of a mirror is an opportune moment for them to take these photos. It does not matter, whether she is only in a bra, or in such an open cut top, that leaves the breasts almost popping out. She will stretch out her hand, push her bosom forth, and capture the image.
The photos feature tiles in the background, creating a bathroom setting, and sending your thoughts into a certain direction.
Selfie at the party
It is now a trend for young people to take shots of themselves at parties and hangouts. Again it will likely be a couple of girls. They will crowd onto and against each other, and then one of them will stretch out their hand and phone in hand, capture the moment. No ones needs to miss out on the girls night out photo anymore thanks to the selfies. You will find the poses in photos in these settings quite dramatic.
There is the deuces pose (two finger peace sign), which makes you wonder whether they support FDC. Then there is the pouting one, where girls stretch out their lips in an outward shape, as if for a kiss. Lips of all kinds, the red shinny ones that look like the girl has been drinking blood, and the cracked out of shape lips all make the rounds in this line up of the sexy – or not sexy. Take a look at Facebook and Twitter profile photos to get a sense of this.
Selfies for change
Other youth have chosen to use it to fight evil. BBC reported that in Lebanon, the death of a teenager in a car bomb attack prompted the youth to start a selfie protest in the country, which was done under the hash tag #nomartyr. It is reported that the teenagers started this because moments before the blast, the deceased teenager and his friends took a selfie of themselves unaware of what was going to happen.
Selfies often try to show the world a little piece of the subject’s life. But trouble comes in when you don’t take the environment in perspective and you end up embarrassing yourself. Like the girl who took a selfie in the toilet yet she had forgotten
Taking selfies or photos of one self is a habit we have been around with. With the increase usage of smart phones with cameras and mirrors. Some photos I should say are quite embarrassing and make one wonder the kind moral degeneration we have gone to.
The selfie craze did not spare US president Barack Obama. He, British Prime Minister David Cameron and the Erna Solberg, the Prime Minister of Norway, took one of the most famous selfies at Nelson Mandela’s memorial. The actions of the three heads of state did not amuse Michelle Obama who looked on, rather unamused, as Obama indulged in the syndrome. Please keep in mind your surrounding before you post the next selfie as you might end up saying oops.
The evolution of the photo poses
Gone are the days when all we were supposed to do was stand straight and say cheese just about when the camera man clicked away. Today with the increasing influence of celebrity lifestyle many people have adopted a different kind of style, posing for pictures. We have come a long way from when, the camera men put too much drama in the way they took the photos. I wonder if it was the poor technology but a camera man would kneel, squat and almost lie on the ground in order to get a good shot.
Things have changed, with the increase in the trend of selfies. For the guys, they will flash a few signs and drop deuces. They will also want to stand with swag and try to flash bling (if wearing any). For the girls, a photo is not complete without a pout. I recently struggled to get a nice photo of my nine-year-old niece smiling the way a normal nine-year-old is expected to pose but she was busy pouting in a pose far too expressive for her tiny frame.
Other girls want to take self styled shots of their best Naomi Campbell or Beyonce pose. And end up looking like they tried too hard.
It’s also common for them to take photos with their heads tilted to one side or having it turned or just having it quizzically turned to one side.
Whatever happened to the cheese and polite poses by the flowers that we used to have? Only God knows.