Jezebel says “Selfies Aren’t Empowering. They’re A Cry For Help” and Slutist begs to differ. A woman can be intelligent and empowered AND love her face, body, and self enough to say “Hey Internet, Look At ALLLLL Of This!” She can self-objectify and put herself on display and still not be a victim of the patriarchy that says her worth is only skin deep. If wanting to be looked at is anti-woman and anti-feminist, then burlesque dancers, models, and porn stars are part of the problem too.
Yes, girls are still taught (unfortunately) that beauty is the ultimate path to success in our increasingly visual culture, but the selfie as a social practice is not proof that we are failing to combat this issue. Grouping all women together as sad pawns of the big, bad misogynist machine is the problem. (And, you know, men take selfies too.)
For those of traditionally marginalized identities, the selfie is a way of asserting oneself into social discourse. Because of the selfie’s reach across time, space and culture lines, many women are finally able to make themselves visible in a world that wants to keep them invisible. Far from being a “high tech reflection of the fucked up way society teaches women that their most important quality is their physical attractiveness,” selfies can be a radical act of self love.
Feel the same way? Join in the #FeministSelfie wave.
Drawing by Hannah Chusid