I just can’t cope with the pressure of posed photos at the best of times and Selfies just seem to magnify my problem of having my photo taken.
Sounds a bit contradictory as you will see on my Facebook page I have quite a few. These are due to the fact that my ‘other half’ has a bit of a passion for photographs and generally has his i Phone/ best friend glued to his hand for any photographic opportunity. I am not sure if this genetically ingrained as his country of origin seems to live on Selfies as I recently observed. (more of that later)
Living with my battle of a pretty poor self-image as I do I am one of the most uncomfortable people in front of the camera. I literally turn to wood if I am asked to pose for a shot. Ramrod straight with fixed grin and squinty eyes... and what are you meant to do you do with your hands? The longer someone takes to take the photo the more awkward I will become and look for any avenue of escape!
Chau, ‘my other half’ quickly learnt that the only way of getting a decent photograph from me is to take it when I am not looking so he is surreptitiously snapping away on his phone pretending to be doing something else.
‘I know what you’re doing and please don’t’! is my usual mantra on holidays and days out as he tried to sneak around taking photos while I am not looking which is the only way of getting me on camera. Apparently his method is take as many as he can and then delete the mouth open, gormless and eyes shut ones and usually he will find success with one or two that I won’t delete.
For some reason Selfies seem so much worse. I think for me it’s the pure focus on my face and the emphasis of ‘look at me!’ It just emphasises my fear of photos.
Nowadays Selfies seem to play a big part of photographs on holiday and everywhere you look there are happy couples enjoying their Selfie sessions. As you can imagine this is not my highlight of the day!
On holiday I consent to one Selfie per day (I am so generous ☺). Chau is able to grasp the most opportune moment and with a glint in his eye I know its Selfie time and obediently switch on the grin. Why do I always stand to the left?
Selfies leave me self-conscious and uncomfortable however as an avid ‘observer of people’ I just love watching Selfie behaviour of other people. This became part of my day to day routine on holiday recently.
The obsession of Selfies fascinates and in Malaysia and Thailand the use of the smart phone appears to take up 95% of people’s time, especially with Selfie taking.
I built in ‘Selfie Watching’ as part of my daily activity along with the usual holiday pastimes which focused mainly around eating. I would settle on my sunbed, suntan lotion on, other beach accessories arranged around me in my usual OCD style and then lie back and discreetly observe people who are in the process of taking a selfie.
Getting ready for a ‘professional’ Selfie appears to be a long process. Firstly, the preparation. Hair needs to be in place, if long then it has to be over one shoulder. If female check out the makeup (yes it’s one million degrees and humid as hell but make up is vital) I learnt that lip gloss is the key essential to the mandatory pout. Why do people do that? Sunglasses on or off? – so much to take into consideration.
Then it’s all about positioning do they lay back in the lounger? Sit up? Head tilted back or to the side? Lighting correct? OK all set for the click of the camera.
The best Selfie activity that totally absorbed me was when we went on a boat trip around the islands. With these trips you never know who is going to keep you company for the day which I love and incorporate people watching into my sightseeing experience.
A man in his mid-thirties sauntered onto the boat with the air of someone who had fallen from the good looking tree. He proceeded to risk life and limb to achieve the perfect Selfie. We were in a speed boat so going pretty fast as he set himself up for a selection of Selfies – risking his safety and pride he hung out of the back of the boat and after a few trial attempts of perfecting the angle of his cheekbones he started clicking away. I could not tear my eyes away! Even better was he bought with him some ‘props’ so I was treated to a number of different looks with an array of hats and sunglasses.
Each to their own but did he appreciate the spectacular scenery, the environment, wildlife? Probably not and he could have saved money sitting on a moored boat in the harbour. I must admit it enhanced my boat trip no end!
This is going to show my age and realisation I am getting to the more mature stage of life but sometimes I do feel there is so much emphasis on image and social photo opportunities we miss the here and now of experiencing the activity in hand as the focus appears to be ‘look at me and my perfect surroundings’
Have we actually spent time appreciating and enjoying it through our own eyes and not a lens? I do it as well but getting increasingly aware of whether it is appropriate or not. Maybe just in small doses but not to the point of total self absorption.
Chau bough a Selfie stick - I said ‘no, no, no’ I love him to bits but I just could not walk next to him wielding a selfie stick. My nerves would be in tatters wondering when he was going to pounce on me for the perfect opportunity to grin into the phone.
As I watched Chau backing into the sea with said stick and prized phone, fully focused on the Selfie he was about to take with no regard for the dangers that lay under the ocean let alone the waves building up behind him that will probably wipe him out I envied his comfort in front of the camera.
Maybe I will get the Selfie Bug one day and I will join in without any resistance at all – maybe!
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