Right after Oxford Dictionaries gave it the honor of being the word of the year in 2013, selfie had already become an entity of importance. Not just because of its ubiquitous usage but how it influenced minds-young and old alike- in so many different ways. However the reason to write this is not to delve into an argument about the blacks and whites, positives and negatives of selfies. This is too over-used a topic and by far all of us are aware of how it is a symbol of self-love, tool of developing high-esteem, making moments memorable as well as a fever, a craze leading to even deaths (Yes while taking the most dangerous selfie ever!). I do not really intend to make a point over that but seriously?? I would Never (God forbids) want to die in the attempt of taking a SELFIE!!
Any ways, that is not really what concerns me. But how selfies have become a constant representation of our identities. Most of us, really most of us put them up as our displays on different social networking sites to tell people what do we really look like. Of course people all over the world really need to know how and in what ways our face is different from the billion living out there. And all those names in our contact list of WhatsApp certainly need to record how our face changes over time. I mean yes we get to see each other, but not everyday!! So we definitely need to keep each other updated with our growth. Most enjoyable is the fact how we are often encouraged and nagged by others to put one up (even when we don’t feel like getting our development recorded-_-)
Look! You are basically beginning to understand where I am coming from. Yes. I am sorry, I refuse (generally and usually) to take any selfies. I haven’t really felt the dire need to. And I do not have those cute side dimples to flaunt. I am horrible at faking cute smiles. I humbly accept my inability. Side shots? OmG No! You see, I don’t have anyone around to select that perfect angle for me with just the right amount of light falling on my face, accentuating my features or making my hair look golden brown. And trust me, branded handbags, diamond jewellery with fair waxed hands have never struck me as an entity to be displayed with my name. And well, I know what useful thing I am missing on. You guys maybe already there. That magical thing with the power of eliminating all the above mentioned defeciencies (or at least, cover them xD) Yeah some of you might be thinking of suggesting me an editing app. But unfortunately I do not have the space for one of those handy apps (as my phone is full of pdfs of past papers, e-books, and quotes?- yeah you can read away that line making quick judgements about me being a nerd, I don’t mind). Maybe I should have gotten a phone with more storage.
But really nothing would have been of use after all! Because I do not even have that remarkable aesthetic sense to make myself appear in a unique artistic way-like hanging upside down, focusing only one feature like the almond shape of my eye or simply standing in front of a tree like a masterpiece. Sadly I have not reached that level of skill in the field of taking selfies. Another important fact is that I have never fancied the idea of putting a selfie in hijab/scarf to mark the beginning of the month of Ramadan. I mean I think I am the same Muslim I was a few days ago?:/ Neither do I understand the reason of inconspicuously letting all of my contacts know of the places I visited in my vacations (seriously a new selfie with a new location each day?). Yeah maybe your mind is roaming in one of those corner. Truly enough, I also don’t have a list of people (particularly boys) to impress with my absolutely baffling looks or pretty head-wreathe poses. But the reason to put this last of all is to establish and reinforce the fact that any person who does put a selfie as their display do not necessarily have a bunch of people to woo xD
But the truth is this is not just a piece of sarcastic rant. This is not a sly criticism on those who proudly/happily/willingly put up their selfies as their displays. This is something more personal, more private; idiosyncratic in nature. Despite being a total opposite, I still feel compelled to take and put up selfies, because of everyone else doing it around me. I fight it back! Why are we so readily available to expose ourselves to the world? More importantly, is what we are exposing even true? Why do people even need to identify me through my face? They really don’t need to as long as I am doing fine with life, hanging on to fate and am not dead in my bed (apologies for such morbid connotations). But really, is that actually me whom you see smiling in that display? Does that cheerful smile really tells you about how many nights I have cried myself to sleep? Or would that cheesy grin or side smirk on that guy’s face really tell you of the 2345 anxieties which run through his head the whole day? What if that mascara is just to hide the puffiness of her eyes. If my selfie is actually to keep my loved ones known of my well-being, then it’s not really fulfilling its purpose. Even on days it stays the same, I might have been badly ill. Yes it may be a way of expressing love with self, but ever thought about that inferiority complex which runs through that girls mind when she is unable to capture herself as beautifully as her other friends. Honestly, those special light effects don’t give the least hint of the actual darkness in some people’s lives.
What do those people in our contact list really give us? A few compliments? Is it that acclamation, that desire of being acknowledged which drives us in the game? I do not want to get identified. I do not want to be an open book specially when people wouldn’t even be reading the ‘real me’ with that selfie I took with my group of firends. Because they don’t even know that that group of friends doesn’t even exist as a group anymore! Why try to be remembered by each friend in the friend list? Why bother being recalled in minds where I hover as a dusty memory? In this world of increasing individualisation, we have largely become vulnerable to an identity crisis. Unknowingly we make judgements about others by their appearance but more sorrily we often reinforce the same process on oursleves. We judge ourselves through the parameters set by others. If she looks pretty with a side fish tail, which one would suit me best?
But I guess what we forget, consistently tend to forget, is maybe I do not need to show myself at all! Maybe that would suit me best! Why have people stopped to realize the beauty in mystery. In things hidden. If I become a dusty memory in some minds, I am more beautiful ornated with my cob webs because those who really care would still check in and text hello to a blur vision of me in their minds. That would be valuable. Not the number of compliments! They will not determine my worth. How I become a riddle to people will. Ever thought of pearls? They do not show themselves up to be recognized, they remain hidden under the dark depths of the sea. Yet so beautiful, so valuable! Maybe, we should hide ourselves too! Not be so exposing to that world. Let it discover us. Maybe our identity is a little more sacred. A little more than what that static display picture shows. Maybe selfies are too over rated and much invalid. Because they don’t show the entire universe hidden in our eyes. They only show our eyes. So next time, if either one of us feels the urge to put one up, just because it’s the trend- Only remember that you are more beautiful a mystery. Keep them guessing, shhhh…..