Confessions of extreme selfie takers: ‘I take 100 at a time’
The extreme lengths teenage girls go to for the 'ultimate selfie' have been secretly filmed by one dad, who captured his daughter gurning in the back of the car. Radhika Sanghani speaks to other profilic snappers to uncover their 'cringe' selfie confessions
Published 29/08/2014 | 10:45
The selfie trend has taken off in a way that harem pants never did. It has lasted well over a year, attracted the likes of our Prime Minister and, frankly, become the norm. Now, taking a selfie is just what you do when you’re in front of a famous sight, person, or just out with your mates. It’s just not a big deal.
But, as with all trends, the selfie also has a more extreme following. These people don’t just take the odd self-portrait in front of the Eiffel Tower. They take them in the car, the bath, in bed - in fact, wherever they have access to a charged smartphone. They don’t just snap the one image, either. Chances are they’ll take dozens per minute.
Welcome to the world of the selfie extremists.
One British dad, Rod Beckham, recently exposed the truth about obsessive selfie snapping, when he secretly filmed his teenage daughter during an intense session in the back of the car. The 58 second video shows her pulling approximately 36 different poses (I counted) - gurning, grinning and flicking her hair. At this rate, she can take a least one selfie every two seconds. In five minutes, she could snap around 150 pictures of her own face.
The video, which has had more than a million views
But this girl isn’t the only extreme selfie taker out there. Celebs lead the way and Kim Kardashian is even said to be publishing a book called Selfish and featuring- you guessed it - 1,200 selfies. It's a way to become famous too. One Thai girl has been transformed into a celeb after she posted 12,000 selfies on her Instagram account. The ‘Queen of Selfies’, known as Mortao Maotor, now uploads more than 200 a week.
‘I just keep clicking’
Student Shriya Patel, 18, tells me her friends jokingly call her the 'Queen of Selfies'.
“I’ll take loads on a night out, maybe like 30. I just keep clicking, then I’ll narrow it down to two and delete the rest," she says. "I’ll try different angles and take it with the best lighting.”
It’s why she didn't bat an eyelid at Beckham’s video selfie session.
“We all do it,” she explains. “I think it’s normal. People who take selfies are quite confident in themselves.” Patel takes her selfies for a variety of reasons: because she thinks she looks good in them, to post them on social media, and just out of boredom.
“I tend to just keep them for profile pictures as well,” she says. "When I decide to change it, I can flick through my camera roll.
"Me and my friends will have selfie sessions. We’ll take a decent picture to post then a whole lot that you can’t show anyone, just because it’s funny. When you’re bored you think, 'let me just take a picture' - then you end up taking like 100, and probably only liking one of them.”
She doesn’t just take selfies of herself pouting and smiling – like the girl in the video she pulls silly faces “to make it a bit different.” She adds: “I do mirror selfies all the time because I can see my whole outfit. It’s embarrassing to ask someone else to take your picture lots and they never take them as well as you can.”
Hayley Morgan, a young writer, has written a blog post on why she’s obsessed with selfies, explaining: “There is no one simple answer to the question “why do I selfie?” Sometimes I’m seeking external validation. Sometimes I’m sending a message to myself that I am ok. Sometimes I just want to remember that I was there, how I looked and how I felt.
"It can be a cry for help or a celebration of self. Quite often, it’s merely boredom. My love of self-portraiture isn’t a facet of mental disorder or raging egotism but just another expression of identity. I’m an insecure, flawed individual just like everyone else, trying to know myself and love myself and remember myself.”
But one of the biggest reasons why young people take them seems to be just because everyone else does. My cousin, Sri-vani Raja, 20, got in touch with me for this article to explain that she can’t stop snapping selfies and neither can her friends. For them, extreme selfie taking has become the norm.
Selfies are an activity
“My friends and I take so many selfies if we’re going out and getting dressed up,” she says. “I think when you go on nights out or anywhere, selfies are like the main ‘activity’ thing to do for young people.”
She tells me it has led to embarrassing situations where she’s trying to take selfies in front of packed crowds at the London Eye or has been caught out taking a ‘mirror car selfie’ where she’s positioned herself to be exactly in the rear-view mirror.
“It’s so, so cringe,” she tells me. “I guess I wouldn’t have done all this if selfies hadn’t become such a craze. I just think it’s funny and a lot of people selfie so it seems acceptable. It’s the ‘in’ thing to do, but it can still be embarrassing – like when I was in London or at the safari park.
“I went through an even more cringe phase though when I was on holiday last summer, where I’d have my mouth open in every selfie for some reason. It’s really embarrassing now I look back on it.”
Her only consolation? She’s not the only one taking extreme ‘cringe’ selfies – everyone’s at it.