I actually hate the term "selfie," purely for aesthetic reasons. It just sounds
dumb, y'know? But as far as being put into the OED, I really don't see any reason to object.
The only possible reason I can think of for objecting, actually, is the idea that since it's a newly-added word, the selfie must be a new concept
. You get all sorts of people hollering about how this just goes to show how narcissistic we all are nowadays
, or that it's a sign of tragic insecurity
. (Or, somehow, both at the same time, which is impressive.)
I hereby want to point out that this is total bullshit.
The strange thing is, the Narcissism and the Attention Whore arguments seem to be exclusively used as arguments against social media. "Nobody wants to hear about what you had for lunch!" I hear. "Nobody cares what you're doing right now!" Which, aside from being totally untrue--I, for one, love
hearing/reading the everyday thoughts that wander through people's brains--is exactly the opposite of what a whole lot of frustrated grownups kept trying to grind into my asocial possibly-spectrumy little head when I was an uncommunicative kid who had no idea why I was supposed to listen to other kids talking about whatever stupid shit they were interested in. Why am I supposed to show interest in conversation about What I Did This Morning in person, but when I'm online I'm supposed to just scoff at the same thing?
Social media is just conversation, chatting, socializing, and small talk in a different medium.
Same goes for selfies--it seems to be their existence on the internet that infuriates people.* It's on the internet! Therefore this interest in looking at oneself must be NEW!
To which I say, check this
That right there is a link to an interesting study done on those weirdly disproportionate, bizarrely lumpy Upper-Paleolithic Venus figurines. The theory the author, LeRoy McDermott, is putting forward is that their strange proportions make total sense when you assume that they are self-portraits, done by women who don't have access to mirrors--when viewed at the same angles as you might use to look down at yourself, they do fit the proportions.
So according to that theory, some of the oldest art in the world
It makes me regard the argument that selfies are a product of this latest generation of degenerate self-obsessed narcissists with a little bit of skepticism.
Honestly, I just think that selfies are the latest expression of a very old human fascination with themselves. It's not necessarily narcissism. It's just that, dang, y'all, here we are, we are humans, we're on this Earth, and look at us! We're doing things! And we can watch ourselves doing things, and remember those things we did, and analyze them, and philosophize about them! It's INTERESTING, dangit! It is one of the things that humans just do, because dude, we're humans!
Of course, another thing that humans seem to do with a lot of enthusiasm is bitch about how language is changing, so I suppose I can't be too hard on the people lamenting the new words. After all, the author of one of those articles I linked to above sarcastically pointed out that the OED is "the publisher of the venerable record of the language of Shakespeare and George Orwell," and yet seemed completely unaware of the irony of citing two authors separated by radically different eras of English as an example of why changes to the language now
are to be lamented. Consistency has never been our strong suit, anyway.
And speaking of which, I'd better end this article. I've defended the selfie as best I can, but dammit I still hate that word. I hereby am done using it.That's right, y'all! Mirror Amelia and her Buford T-shirt endorse the selfie! OKAY NOW I AM DONE USING IT.
*And that they are often done by GIRLS, who have all sorts of standards to live up to, set both by The Patriarchy and, dare I say it, from the asshole breed of feminists who have very set ideas about what Girl Power has to be.