The selfie preservation society

Aasma Day
Aasma Day
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I really am not your typical woman.

That was my verdict this week after learning the ridiculous statistic that the average woman will hit the delete button five times before settling on a selfie good enough to post online.

Selfie number six is the one a woman will usually decide to use while most men are satisfied on their fourth try.

Honestly – have we really become a nation of self obsessed and image-crazed junkies who’ve nothing better to do with their time than take snap after snap of their own face?

I find it hard to get past the fact people actually want to spend time taking photos of themselves, let alone repeating the exercise several times.

Just as I was recovering from this staggering statistic, I read another selfie-related fact that floored me.

Apparently, women spend a MONTH of their lives taking selfies. To be more precise – 753 hours taking, deleting and editing selfies.

I’m not sure if this highlights vanity or a lack of self esteem in women who feel the need to not only capture their own face so many times, but their face looking a way they deem acceptable enough to be seen by other people.

To me, a snap is just that. A simple click to seize an image in time to look at and remember a particular occasion or moment in your life.

So far as I’m concerned, the only time you need re-take photos is if any of the subjects had their eyes closed or weren’t quite ready.

Natural shots usually turn out better – not just of children but of adults, too – as the subjects tend to look relaxed rather than formal and tense in front of the camera.

But the selfie-obsessed generation make sure even their “natural” poses are craftily shot using all the tricks of the trade so they look picture perfect while managing to give the illusion of “I just woke up like this”.

Top tricks include using soft mood lighting and a downward angle, adopting a slimming body pose, doing a ‘duck pout’ as favoured by Kim Kardashian and “smizing” – a term that means smiling with your eyes.

And all before putting the finished image through smartphone filters to make themselves look even better.

A quarter of women have confessed they would never upload a photo of themselves online without resorting to at least one of these quick-fix tricks first.

Part of the problem is that with mobiles having such good cameras nowadays, people can instantly see the image, so the temptation to hit delete and start all over is always there.

Gone are the days when we had no idea what our photos would look like until we collected our envelope from Boots or Max Spielmann.

The reason I know I’m not like most other women is that I have zilch interest in taking selfies. I use my mobile for texting, making calls, browsing the internet, tweeting and looking through Facebook.

On family days out, I’ll sometimes use the camera to take snaps of the kids enjoying themselves, but I never feel an overwhelming urge to take a picture of myself, let alone then waste time tweaking it.

Don’t get me wrong, I can be as vain as the next woman when it comes to photos and, like many women, I am rarely happy with photos of myself. But the answer is simple, just don’t post them online or show them to other people.

Believe me, there are plenty of photos of me that will never see the light of day. (No, not THOSE sort of photos you filthy lot!)

The selfie craze hit home recently when I went on a girls’ night out with friends, including one lovely pal who always looks perfectly groomed and immaculate in her social 
media photos.

During the course of the night, I found out why. She spent the majority of the evening taking selfies of herself and scrutinising the results before saying things like: “My face looks too fat in that” and “I need to do that one again with my chin down” and click, click, clicking away...

She knew all the camera tricks and told us all what 
angle to hold your phone, the perfect pose to look thinner and which filters to use.

It all got a bit tiresome to be honest and all the snapping and posing was taking up valuable drinking time.

But it’s not just on nights out in pubs and clubs that the selfie obsession surfaces, it’s everywhere you go.

When you go to restaurants, instead of picking up their knife and fork and tucking in, the first thing diners seem to do is grab their phone and take a photo of it.

Concerts are another selfie saturated arena. Even before whichever act they’ve gone to see takes the stage, some feel the need to take selfies of themselves grinning inanely to the backdrop of the venue.

And don’t even get me started on selfie sticks. Whenever I see them being used, I have to fight the urge to grab it and beat the owner with it.

My advice: When you go to a concert, enjoy it instead of striving making sure everyone on Facebook and Twitter knows you’re there by providing photographic evidence.

When you go out for a meal, eat your food before it goes cold instead of taking pictures of it.

And on a night out, let your hair down and have fun instead of taking countless photos to give the appearance that you’re having a good time.