body image

Can everyone just stop taking selfies now please….

Heres a little selfie...

Heres a little selfie…

According to the Urban Dictionary (yes, there is such a thing), a selfie is: ‘A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website.’

An alternative description could be: “Self-absorbed, totally unnecessary and often poorly focused snapshot taken with the primary intention of posting on social network sites, for no particular reason at all.”

The BBC has recently released an article, looking at the science behind selfies, explaining that ‘people generally have an image of themselves that tends to be younger and more attractive than we really are. This has led to an obsession with selfies, for the first time ever we are able to take and retake pictures of ourselves until we can produce an image that comes closer to matching our perception of what we think we look like.’

Ok. So let’s just think about that for a second.

Just because you are able to do something, it does not mean that you really should. Selfies are the perfect example of this. I suppose it does show a certain amount of confidence, and possibly a little narcissism, to post self-portraits on the Internet, knowing that others are able to comment on them. However, if they are being Photoshopped to death and then shared in the vain hope of gaining ‘likes’ then I think you may have a deeper issue that needs addressing…

The perfect Photoshop selfie?

I have spent many an evening ‘untagging’ myself from pictures I would rather never saw the light of day, let alone want anyone to comment on. *Is it untagging or detagging – has anyone officially decided on what we are calling this yet?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally against the odd self-portrait; I even took one once, of me and my Grandma on her 90th birthday. The result was an unflattering, blurred picture of me looking ten years older than my actual age, highlighting every blemish, pimple and stray hair, and my Grandma looking terrified, staring into camera like a rabbit in proverbial headlights.

There are just so many of them that it’s driven me to a severe state of SOS….(Sick Of Selfies). Just once I want to be able to log onto Facebook without being bombarded with countless selfies, from, ‘I am wearing bikini in winter and then taking pics in the mirror for no reason’ to the more common and disturbing, ‘look at me pulling a duck face at various locations throughout the day’…..yes, you know who you are.

I’m not alone in my despair of this alleged nit-spreading, self-loving obsession sweeping the country. Selfies made an appearance in The Independent’s list of ’50 things we hate about modern life’ – coming in at an unsurprising number six, not quite as annoying as self service check outs but considerably more disliked than the entity known as Gangnam Style (which, for the record, came in at number 22).

Mona Lisa Selfie...

Mona Lisa Selfie…

 

Every man and his dog has access to some kind of device these days, and the capacity to take pictures of some amazing things and sharing them with the world online within seconds. Sadly, looking at some of the selfies floating around it would appear that, for some people, the dog would actually be able to take a better picture than they clearly can.

 

Who was it that decided to, rather than focusing the camera on the wonders of nature or the joy of capturing a special moment, it would be a much better idea to take a picture of yourself looking ridiculous – and then share it all over the internet like some kind of crazed cyber-egotist?

The number of selfies popping up is mind-blowing; over 17 million selfies are uploaded to social media every week and it’s not just the teenagers who are adding to these figures either.

It would be nice to blame the youth for such nonsense, writing it off as a faddy craze but, while they may have started it, they are certainly not the only ones keeping this strange new tradition alive and growing at epidemic proportions.

The first ever selfie was taken in 1914, by the then thirteen-year-old, Russian Duchess, Anastasia Romanov. I’m sure she had no idea just what she had started that day as she stood on a chair and took a picture of herself using a Brownie box camera. Anastasia later sent it to a friend saying: “I took this picture of myself looking at the mirror. It was very hard and my hands were trembling.”

Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna

Grand Duchess Anastasia 

These days the over-55s are taking more selfies than the 18 to 24-year-olds, with one in six admitting to regularly taking one. My own great-aunt Enid is one of these OSOs (Older Selfie Offenders), she’s been known to post the same selfie over a dozen times within a minute. It seems that while she struggles with the concept of press and wait while uploading, she is, however, a dab hand at the ‘art of selfie’- often striking her own version of the duck face pose. Bless her puckered lips…

Turns out there are even a number of websites and Youtube videos offering tips on how to achieve the ‘perfect selfie’, while over on Twitter, ‘self-confessed-selfie-fan’ Kim Kardashian regularly tweets advice to her millions of followers, before getting distracted by her own reflection…

Seems that the selfie is here to stay and, love it or hate it there isn’t much us selfie-phobes can do about it – other than ignore them and hope they go away…

Possibly the most famous selfie ever?

Possibly the most famous selfie ever?

Several of my friends, who shall remain anonymous, are serial selfie-offenders and it drives me crazy. One in particular has even been known to post the same picture several times using different filters. I kid you not…

I will leave you with quite possibly one of the most annoying songs ever released, I predict this appearing in next years list of major irritations…..

Don’t call me skinny….

” You are soooooo skinny – you look like Skeletor….”

The words lie heavy in the air as I try to contain my anger whilst my so called ‘friend’ tries to explain that this is a good thing, meant as a compliment…. even having the audacity to look shocked that I am offended!

 

4497292636_98a515f084_b

 

I am 37 years old and a very petite size 8, in fact I am the same size as a (small) teenager and could probably still fit into my school uniform, although this should be left strictly to the imagination, in the interests of decency.

I am not however this small through design or choice, and certainly not through lack of trying. Over the years I have tried every weight gain product this side of China in a vain attempt to put on a few pounds, sadly to no avail. I was raised on good food and have a sister who is a curvaceous size 12; it’s a standing family joke that she inherited all the buxom genes whilst I am like Twiggy on a slim day. Basically, food and dress size are not issues in my life and never have been, my family are various shapes n sizes and this is all good.

I’m happy in my own skin and revel in the fact that I can still shop in the kids section of most high street stores, as well as save a fortune buying trainers at a fraction of the cost of “grown-up” sizes.

I am also pleased to say that, contrary to popular belief, I do eat whatever I want, whenever I want. Yep, from chips to chocolate and all the goodies in between – I eat the lot and often enjoy late night munchies too, yet still I remain the size I am.

large skinny girlFrom being young I’ve been taunted and ridiculed for being “skinny” – often by people that could be deemed somewhat overweight, if I were a judgmental person that is…

One of the most hurtful incidents was when I was about 12 and was wearing a bra for the first time, at my Mums insistence of course. I went off to the youth club and didn’t realise that the ultraviolet light made my jumper appear see through, well, not until a boy came over, tapped me on the back and asked me why I was actually wearing a bra, after all if I had no feet would I still wear socks?

Yep, that hurt. Lots.

The very definition of skinny is offensive, the free online dictionary has this to say…

skinny [ˈskɪnɪ]

adj -nier, -niest

1. lacking in flesh; thin

2. consisting of or resembling skin

skinniness  n
Really? I mean, I am slim but am neither lacking in flesh or ‘resembling skin’, more like I have a reasonable amount of flesh and the right amount of skin to keep it all neat and my innards where they’re meant to be.
I despaired further still after looking at what the Urban Dictionary had to say on the subject…
Something a lot of girls want to be, also known as perfection. No matter how thin some girls get, they will never be happy with their weight. The quest for “skinny” causes many problems like anorexia or bulemia. Of course, when thinness comes naturally, the girls who possess it get cocky and let their egos grow bigger than necessary.

Excuse me? Perfection? Is that even a thing?

No wonder so many youngsters have body image issues these days, and who gets to decide that I’m cocky or have an inflated ego based on my weight, or lack of it? Pfft.

Even the pop sensation that is Adele is known to have said, and I quote, “I’d rather weigh a ton and make an amazing album that look like Nicole Richie and do a shit album. My aim in life is never to be skinny”.

pretty skele girl

It actually makes me rather sad, and more than just a little bit mad that some people feel they have the divine right to cast judgement and issue labels based solely on a persons weight.

I’ve come across some people that really are larger than life, yet I would never dream of commenting on their size, or calling them an offensive name in an attempt to appear witty – however when it comes to us slim girls it seems we’re fair game for any weight related puns.

A few years ago my husband had a visit from a female friend on her way home from another (clearly sweaty) workout at the gym. Bursting through the door, glowing and jubilant she then proceeded to tell us, in graphic detail, all about her workout, pausing only to point out that “I obviously didn’t need to exercise as I was anorexic!!!”

I kid you not, this was said without a hint of irony and I was gob smacked at her thoughtless, nasty and hurtful comment. And no, for the record, I am not suffering from an eating disorder…..

tape measure girl

I’m sure they’ll be slim girls (and guys) reading this, nodding their head in understanding but, if you’re one of the many who are guilty of this “weightest” behaviour please stop. Us petite ladies have our own body hangups n issues too -some of us eye your curves and peachy bums with a hint of envy, others are happy in their own skin. Bottom line is this – life is hard enough without us judging each other on such superficial matters. Let’s share some positivity eh, after all, my Mum always told me that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

Now, where’s that cake….

cupcakes

 

 

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