Images are increasingly becoming an active and important role in the social media realm due to the ubiquity of online interaction. Consumer culture makes all of us responsible for the surfaces of our body, the foundation of this is brought upon ourselves through image-centred social media platforms like Facebook, one of the main contributions of self-consciousness is by taking a ‘selfie’ – a “self-portrait made in a reflective object or from arm’s length”.
I was pondering on the terms of status and image after an interesting lecture, I suddenly had to admit that after I post something on Facebook, when people start to react in a positive way such as liking it, I get a warm fuzzy feeling. I thought that if I were to post something and have no reaction I would be upset and probably delete it. Alain De Botton convey’s status as being “one’s value and importance in the eyes of the world”, does social media sites influence how we value ourselves and not only that but look at ourselves?
I delved into Katrin Tiidenberg and Edgar Go ́mez Cruz article “Selfies, Image and the Re-making of the Body” and came across this phrase:
“women use selfies as body techniques in the digitally saturated context, and bodies’ relations with selfies have an impact on people’s life satisfaction”
It made me think of an old selfie phenomenon called #nomakeupselfie, this trend consisted of women taking a selfie with no makeup on and donating to cancer research and mainly promoting breast cancer awareness . This trend suddenly and quickly became a cancer awareness effort within minutes. It’s hard to believe that in an age where social media has made the world even more conscious about how we look, generated a series of people sprawling their bare-faces on the very same medium that ridicules body image.
Author Laura Lippman apparently started the trend to support actress Kim Novak, whose looks were criticised at the Oscars. Others picked up on the idea, and somehow the hashtags #breastcancerawareness/#nomakeupselfie and donation links to Cancer Research started getting added to the selfies. “It’s brilliant it’s raising so much money. It’s totally unexpected because it wasn’t something we planned,” a rep for the group tells Britain’s Telegraph newspaper. The trend slowly started to pick-up a positive influence of the body image, a couple of my friends got involved and posted a #nomakeupselfie and a motivational quote such as “this is the authentic me, I don’t need to cover up who I am” obtaining the message that a woman should be able to decide to wear makeup for herself without anyone else assuming that she’s a floozy.
This trend that promoted a body-positive atmosphere comes about through the spiral of sharing and learning new ways of looking. It encouraged women to put their naked faces out there by soothing their pre-emptive worries about whether it is good enough to be publicly exhibited. In other words Facebook’s image sharing platform showed a new way of looking at ourselves and our own values.