CNN.com posted an article last week asking if selfies empowering or objectifying.
It was a question posed on the heels of the release second time mom-to-be Kim Kardashian‘s new book of selfies called, “Selfish“.
The sex-kitten is known for posting provocative photographs that tantalize her 37 million Instagram and 33 million Twitter followers.
At a recent event, Karadashian-West agreed that the selfies she take objectify her but that added that they are also empowering.
“I’ve taken them,” the business owner confessed. “I’m proud of them. There’s power in that. There’s a control. Even if I’m objectifying myself, I’m OK with that.”
CNN.com cited an expert who suggested that selfies can be damaging to women and young girls’ self-esteem because they cause women to be more critical of their own appearance and to self-critique. The article also pointed to an InStyle magazine survey that says young women who watch fashion magazines and spend a lot of time on Facebook compare themselves to others.
The InStyle research noted that “89% of women said getting a ‘like’ on Facebook or Instagram felt like a compliment, while 82% said that getting compliments on social media improved their self-esteem.”
I’ve definitely seen several examples of women who feel compelled to post more and more provocative photos of themselves in their search for as many likes as possible.
However, I tend to think it’s a reflection of already existing low self-esteem in a person. I am not sure whether selfies exacerbates the problem, either. It just provides a means and social media the forum for these young women and girls to get validation.
And the final result of the InStyle survey is that social media actually help young women’s self-esteem.
“I think that it’s a really beautiful thing that anyone, anywhere can post a selfie and they don’t have to be a celebrity,”21-year old New York University student Valerie Kipnis is quoted as saying. “Selfies are going to reset the standards of beauty and how people view themselves.”
Unlike traditional mass media where a few powerful magazines selected and picked who they felt were the most beautiful to be featured, social media lets anyone with a smart phone snap themselves and share it with the world.
Sefies posted in social media represent an injection of many more images of women who are beautiful in their own way. More exposure of different types of attractiveness can contribute to broader acceptance of those with features and looks that were once ostracized and rejected.
What do you think?
Are selfies good or bad for the self esteem?