Last month, Oxford English Dictionaries named “selfie” Official Word of the Year. The official definition:
A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.
Regular readers of this blog will already be aware that I am an old hand at selfies, having started taking photographic self-portraits at art college in the early 1970s – not so much from narcissism (though there was that) as because I was always available to myself as a model for lighting tests, mucking around with skulls, and fun with dressing-up, and moreover didn’t need to sign a model release form. You can find some of the results via these links:
MUGSHOTS PART 1: MISSION STATEMENT
MUGSHOTS PART 2: THE OUT-OF-FOCUS YEARS (the 1970s)
MUGSHOTS PART 3: THE OUT-OF-WORK YEARS (the 1980s)
MUGSHOTS PART 4: THE GO-GO YEARS (the 1990s)
MUGSHOTS PART 5: THE MENOPAUSAL YEARS (Paris in the noughties)
MUGSHOTS PART 6: THE BELGIUM YEARS (2011-now)
The other day I bought some spiffy new gloves – they’re black leather, with pink, green and orange insets between the fingers – and decided to post a selfie of me wearing one of them on Facebook and Twitter. You can see the result at the top of this page. Friends said it reminded them of an image from a giallo film, which of course pleased me no end.
Then I decided to do a selfie with that selfie.
And then I took a selfie with a selfie with a selfie with a selfie with a selfie with a selfie. Because why not.
If I ever did this again, I would take more care over the lighting, and either light all the photographs in exactly the same way, or each of them very differently. It might also be fun to insert one selfie midway through of me looking incredibly evil, or covered in blood, or holding a severed head. Then I could say to people, “Oh wow, I have no idea how that got there!”
And here, just for the hell of it (and because I can’t get enough of looking at pictures of myself) is a break-down of this image into individual selfies, with a surprise at the end of it:
Yes, the surprise is that the first selfie is also a shelfie.
So basically I win the Narcissist Wars of 2013.