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Majority feels selfies build esteem

Kellie Galentine
Staff Writer

The song “#Selfie” by the Chainsmokers has been blasting through speakers across the country since its release in January.

Ellen DeGeneres’ selfie at the Oscars received 3.3 million retweets on Twitter.

And an informal survey of students on campus found that 13 out of 16 students have posted a selfie on social media.

Selfies, declared 2013 word of the year by Oxford Dictionary, are pulsing through pop culture yet Selfiecity, a study done by a group of internet researchers who study selfies posted in five major cities around the globe, found that only four percent of pictures posted are selfies.

While 4 percent is not a big number, on the La Verne campus nine out of 13 students who have posted selfies say they get a sense of satisfaction by the number of likes they receive on a given picture of their face.

“Not going to lie, the more likes you get, the better you feel,” Fidencio Aguirre, freshman psychology major, said.

Students expressed that confidence behind their photos is linked to how many people virtually approve of what they are posting.

“If I’m not averaging 70 likes then I’m not posting another one,” Salinger Morales, junior philosophy and religion major, said.

Debate among students centered on the question of whether people post selfies as a display of self-confidence.

“People think our generation is self obsessed, but we are all just trying to find a way to feel good about ourselves,” Purna Venugopalan, sophomore chemistry major, said.

Selfiecity found that within the five cities studied a majority of the selfies were posted by young people. In New York City, the median age was 25.3 years old – the oldest among all five cities.

“I think as young people we do a lot of selfie shaming, if someone posts a picture than other people shame them for it,” Morales said.

Nine of the 13 students on campus who have posted selfies are women.

“I get annoyed when girls try to look sexy,” Evelyn Bobbitt, senior biology major, said.

“I find if you look at someone’s pictures it shows what is important to them.”

Despite some negative views of these pictures, the song “#Selfie” currently ranks number six of the top singles on, The song’s lyrics parody the mindset behind posting selfies on social media.

Lyrics in the song include “Should I go home with him? I guess I took a good selfie.”

“I think the song “#Selfie” shows vanity and self centeredness and how we are obsessed over people’s perception of us,” Victoria Wyatt, junior theater major, said.

Songs like “#Selfie” bring a social trend into the spotlight of popular media. While among students, there is lively debate surrounding selfie motives, underneath the argument there is a movement of these photos being considered self-portraits.

“I take selfies when I feel good about how I look,” Venugopalan said.

“I don’t care about what other people think, I do it for myself.”

Kellie Galentine can be reached at kellie.galentine@laverne.edu.

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