2017: The year The selfie dies?

Throw out your selfie stick – you won’t be need­ing it any more…

Look (UK) - - CONTENTS -

It’s 8am, -3°C and hard to get out of bed. Trudg­ing to the of­fice half awake, you could eas­ily make the mis­take of reach­ing for your phone in a des­per­ate bid to seek com­fort. Isn’t ev­ery­one feel­ing blue?

But if you were hop­ing your Face­book feed would be filled with pho­tos of bro­ken boil­ers and Lem­sip, think again. The chapped-hand struggle is real and so is the in­fu­ri­at­ing stream of so­cial me­dia nar­cis­sism – AKA the selfie. Specif­i­cally those in­volv­ing beaches, biki­nis and six-packs.

But be­fore you un­fol­low your en­tire In­sta­gram (Louise Thompson, we’re look­ing at you) just for hav­ing a good time in Jan­uary, we have some good news: self­ies may have of­fi­cially out­stayed their wel­come.

not-so-pretty nar­cis­sists

Last year, re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Toronto ex­am­ined a group of die-hard selfie tak­ers and found that those who reg­u­larly pose for them­selves sig­nif­i­cantly over­es­ti­mated how at­trac­tive they are. Af­ter in­struct­ing each par­tic­i­pant to take a selfie, they asked the group how at­trac­tive they thought their friends would rate the photo. Not only were they deemed to be less at­trac­tive, they were also judged as ‘sig­nif­i­cantly more nar­cis­sis­tic’ than pho­tos taken by a sep­a­rate group who don’t usu­ally take self­ies. And it seems the word is start­ing to leak out as more and more stars re­alise that post­ing these OTT snaps isn’t pop­u­lar with their fan­base. If you need more ev­i­dence, just take a look at the sale of selfie sticks. Last Oc­to­ber, John Lewis re­vealed that sales of the pop­u­lar gad­get were down 50 per cent on the pre­vi­ous year.

Ea­gle-eyed In­sta­gram users may also have no­ticed cer­tain celebri­ties and life­style blog­gers shar­ing nu­mer­ous New Year posts pro­mot­ing 2017 as the year of self-con­fi­dence and urg­ing their followers to re­move users whose posts fail to in­spire and only make them feel bad about them­selves.

How many self­ies is too many?

Show­ing Up The Shoff-offs

And it seems as though some users have taken note. Although Made In Chelsea’s Louise Thompson is our ul­ti­mate fit­ness in­spi­ra­tion right now, In­sta­gram users have been quick to crit­i­cise her re­lent­less stream of bikini self­ies on re­cent back-to-back hol­i­days over Christ­mas and New Year (17 in one week, to be pre­cise). One user com­mented: ‘I know when I’m re­ally en­joy­ing a hol­i­day, I spend the whole time pos­ing for nar­cis­sis­tic pho­tos and care­fully edit­ing them be­fore up­load­ing them for self val­i­da­tion from peo­ple I don’t know on the in­ter­net… Oh no, wait, I don’t ac­tu­ally.’ An­other had clearly seen enough: ‘I’m out. Un­fol­low.’

But Louise isn’t the only celeb show­ing off on so­cial. If you’ve ever won­dered how many self­ies is too many self­ies, you’re about to find out. In Septem­ber last year, Kim Kar­dashian re­vealed she took a whop­ping 6,000 self­ies on a four-day hol­i­day in Mex­ico – that’s 1,500 a day.

With In­sta­gram users show­ing in­creas­ing dis­sat­is­fac­tion with celebrity posts, some stars have opted to dis­able com­ments af­ter In­sta­gram up­dated the plat­form last year. Model Chrissy Teigen chose to ban cer­tain words from her posts in a bid to fil­ter out nega­tive com­ments and pro­mote pos­i­tiv­ity.

So is the selfie re­ally over? Have we fi­nally reached peak nar­cis­sist? It does feel like we could re­ally be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a change. Let’s just hope that 2017 is the year that cham­pi­ons real, un-pho­to­shopped beauty, à la make-up-free Ali­cia Keys – that’s what Look wants any­way...

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