The obsession with the self and the selfie in the twenty-first century continues to transform into more grotesque incarnations. Just when you thought the selfie stick was the pinnacle of our cultural demise, a sudden and unstoppable wave of selfie classes at such prestigious universities as USC and UCLA (perhaps it’s not a coincidence that both are located in the vanity world capital) has cropped up.
More than just a class about how to take selfies, these courses explore and “deconstruct” the “meaning” behind them. The implication that there is any substance to a selfie beyond complete and utter narcissism is something of a stretch, but educators seem convinced that we can learn about cultural identity from them, which is also a theory Kim Kardashian feels super strongly about.
With The Selfie Researchers Network (yes, it’s real) in place, academics everywhere are taking an interest in the art of the so-called modern self-portrait. Nonetheless, no matter how many pointed questions one tries to pose around the existence of this phenomenon, the simplicity of the act can’t be mitigated. The core intent behind snapping a photo of yourself stems from wanting to 1) show everyone how good you look and 2) convince everyone that your life is more fabulous than it really is.