Author and visual art critic Alicia Eler defines herself as a selfie expert after watching the boundaries between our digital and physical lives blurred with social media. "I was like, oh, this is actually just part of celebrity culture, but it’s being misinterpreted and millennials are being shamed and taking the brunt of this," Eler says.
That idea, that millennials and young women, in particular, are being shamed for taking selfies is one of the main points of her new book, The Selfie Generation. In it, she argues that selfies are more than just image — they offer a mirror into how we live today. Part memoir, part think piece, the book seeks to redefine how our culture looks at millennials, one selfie at a time.
"I just think that there’s this double-standard," Eler says. "What really came out of studying selfies and talking to people, writing the column and then of course writing the book, was seeing the way that women were...supposed to look a certain way...for the male gaze but then being shamed for doing so. So it’s this same sort of mirror."
Check out my full conversation with Alicia and for more conversations from The Ladies Room, be sure to follow Refinery29’s Strong Opinions Loosely Held page.