Selfie is the new chad.*
And provides the televised talking heads with the latest social shaming technique aimed at the ladies out there.
For those of you dudes with real lives who might have missed this massively important news, the Oxford Dictionaries recently declared selfie, “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website,” as the Word of the Year for 2013.
According to Oxford research, the use of the word selfie has increased by 17,000% since this time last year. Judy Pearsall, the Editorial Director for Oxford Dictionaries, further explains their decision in a press release: “Using the Oxford Dictionaries language research program, which collects around 150 million words of current English in use each month, we can see a phenomenal upward trend in the use ofselfie in 2013, and this helped to cement its selection as Word of the Year.”
There have also been lots of plays on this word, such as welfie (workout selfie), drelfie(drunken selfie), and even, for you book lovers out there, bookshelfie (shelfie in front of your bookshelves).
Interestingly, even though Oxford Dictionaries named selfie as the word of the year and gave it a pretty thorough definition, it isn’t yet included in the Oxford Dictionary. Yet. I’m sure. Other words that were shortlisted (for 2013’s word of the year) include bedroom tax, binge-watch, bitcoin, olinguito, shmeat, showrooming and twerk (thanks, Miley).
I told you that story (with massive apologies to Bill Cosby) so I could tell you this one.
On CNN’s Headline News, an male anchor, a female guest commentator and a male actor (Dean Cain) all got together to talk about the 2013 word of the year and to show some celebrity selfies and try to decide which selfies belonged in the Selfie Hall of Shame. Watch the embedded video below and then come back. I’ll be waiting.
So. You’ve seen it, yeah, dudes?
First there was Kim Kardashian’s mostly full-body selfie showing off her post-baby physique. Then a shirtless, 70-year-old Geraldo Rivera in a locker room. Then Miley Cyrus wearing a bra and panties in a mirror asking about her hair. Then a shirtless Justin Bieber.
All four selfies were deliberately provocative. All four showed a bit more skin than would normally be associated with a photograph going out in public. (Unless you’re a celebrity, of course. Then, I guess, the normal rules don’t apply.) And, yet, it was the two female selfies that were immediately inducted into the Hall of Shame.
Geraldo got a “pass” because he looked so good at 70, while Bieber’s shirtless selfie simply was a case of “giving the fans what they want.”
So, let’s look at the equation here: Female celebrity skin = bad and salacious. Male celebrity skin = good for them.
Does anyone see the disconnect here or is it just this dude?
Honestly, at this point, I really don’t know what to say. We all know Americans have an unhealthy obsession with sex. Not that sex is bad, understand, but that we obsess over it, but also obsess over making sure it’s never seen, talked about or thought about by anyone but us. We all know there are different standards for men and different standards for women. A woman doing exactly the same thing as a man will be shamed, while the man is celebrated.
But to see it so blatant, so out in the open and to have no one comment on it. . .
Dudes. . . Dudettes. . . This just isn’t right. Isn’t it about time we did something about this? Do we really want our children growing up into such a sick culture?
*If you’re not old enough to know what a chad (and it’s cousin the hanging chad, and the second cousin the dimpled chad) is, then count yourself lucky.
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