Friday 9 December 2016

How selfies allow women to take control of their image

Roisin Kiberd

Published 20/08/2014 | 02:30

Miley Cyrus Selfie
Miley Cyrus Selfie
Lindsey Lohan poses for a selfie in Ibiza
Kim Kardashian selfie
Technically it's not a selfie, but Miranda kicked off the celebrity breastfeeding on Twitter trend.

The selfie reminds me a lot of how Andy Warhol described Coca ­Cola.

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Presidents drink it. Celebrities drink it. Normal people drink it. There is no such thing as 'luxury Coca ­Cola'. Similarly, a celebrity takes a selfie with the same technology as anyone else, the idea being to bypass how the media presents them. More candid than paparazzi shots, the selfie is a diary entry in photographic form, showing the subject at their most honest and personal. Kim Kardashian, who at over 17 million followers is Instagram's reigning selfie queen, has signed a deal to release a book in early 2015. No words, just 352 pages of selfies, fittingly entitled Selfish.

Kardashian rose to fame through a homemade sex tape, the selfie form at its most explicit, and the torrents of 'likes' to her Instagram have sustained her career ever since. It would be easy to call her book another sign of cultural apocalypse, or at least a low point for the publishing industry, but I'm not about to condemn it. There's something oddly brave about a selfie-­ing celebrity: Kardashian might put time and money into her 'personal' shots, she might even, if rumours are to be believed, take advantage of Photoshop, but by presenting the results as selfies she is honest about how she perceives herself.

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