Trends work on a sort of bell curve. There's the buildup, the climax, and the eventual crash. Like anything, it's only natural that the selfie trend is starting to see its comedown. In this case, it's less of a fadeaway and more of a backlash, and we have Ansel Elgort to thank for it. Teen Vogue recently brought his latest Instagram to our attention. Presenting, the #UglySelfie — originally introduced to Ansel by his friend Jerome Jarre.
Is it silly? Of course — Ansel is known as a bit of a jokester. But, his caption brings up an excellent point. "Too many people worry about how they are perceived through an app," he writes. "I understand why, because society is becoming this place where people judge each other on followers and likes." He's right. Many people are way too obsessed with how they look in photos. Hell, some people are even getting plastic surgery to appear more photogenic. This isn't limited to faces — remember those brides getting hand lifts for engagement-ring selfies?
Digital photography has made it easy to just retake photos we're not happy with. And, now, we often forget that people don't always look as great as they do in their Insta-snaps. In fact, they likely never look as good. Even the no-makeup selfies flooding our Instagram feeds are likely steeped in bullshit. Personally, I've never posted one of these, even though I have a bunch on my phone, because I don't think I look good in any of them. Isn't that kind of sad, though?
While Ansel's Instagram is definitely funny, it can still make a serious impact. If more and more people were willing to forgo the filters, put away the airbrushing apps, and just post photos of themselves being themselves, maybe we'd all start being a little more honest with each other. We're also impressed that a publication like Teen Vogue is paying attention to this. Its demographic consists of teens and tweens — the people who are most likely negatively impacted by what they see on their friends' feeds. The times, they (could be) a-changin'.
Next time you take a photo of yourself laughing your ass off, with your face scrunched up, post away. If we stop placing merit on covering every single blemish for these faux-photos, and start focusing more on our experiences, we may be able to change things for the better. Plus, as Ansel says, the photo above wasn't even a recent one. "Maybe we should look in our camera roll for the most hilarious photo that we would never post and post it," he says. We agree 100%. (Teen Vogue)
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