The Washington Post

A selfie isn’t just a selfie anymore

We’ve heard of a single-camera comedy, but this is new: ABC has reportedly ordered a pilot for a show called “Selfie.”

According to a synopsis of the pilot, from “Suburgatory” creator Emily Kapnek, the show is inspired by “My Fair Lady” and “tells the story of a self-obsessed 20-something woman who is more concerned with ‘likes’ than being liked.” After a bad breakup, said 20-something woman becomes the subject of a viral video and finds herself with a growing social media following. She then consults a marketing expert “to help her repair her tarnished image.”

The Verge notes that shows built around social media trends — like CBS’ short-lived ‘$#*! My Dad Says’ — don’t always fare well.  But whether you file selfies under “bane of my existence” or consider them to represent something deeper (a la James Franco), it’s hard to ignore their cultural relevance. Oxford Dictionaries crowned “selfie” word of the year in 2013 and 2014 has already spawned a number of selfie variations. Here’s a discerning look at a few of the selfies that have taken over your Twitter and/or Instagram feeds lately.

Museum Selfie: Jan. 22 was #MuseumSelfie Day (at least on Twitter). If this blog post — from Culture Themes founder Mar Dixon, who organized the project —  is any indication, selfies, art and a catchy hashtag proved a recipe for success. Even Jay Z participated, putting a literal spin on a line from “Already Home,” a song on his 2009 album “The Blueprint 3.” “I’m a work of art, I’m a Warhol already,” he rapped. How meta.

Belfie: Oh yes. Butt selfies are a thing. And not just for Kim Kardashian. Jen Selter, a 20-year-old New Yorker, has collected a sizable following on Instagram, where she frequently posts photos of herself in tight yoga pants. It’s worth noting that, according to the New York Post, Selter’s social media efforts had landed her endorsement deals and allowed her to quit her job. Kardashian has been accused of photoshopping her recent belfie, a claim she denied (sort of).

Felfie: The felfie (or farmer selfie) is just what it sounds like — farmers taking pictures of themselves, sometimes posing with their livestock. Are felfies the work of bored farmers or something more? In a post for the Guardian, dairy farmer Carrie Mess asserted that felfies help farmers engage with consumers, helping them to better understand where their food comes from.

Riccing: Actress Christina Ricci inspired some Twitter users (and at least two daytime talk show hosts) to stuff their frames into small spaces after she tweeted a photo of herself chilling (ha) in a refrigerator. That she did not appear to take the photo didn’t stop Twitter users from designating it a selfie. But let’s be clear: this is more along the lines of planking (or Tebowing or owling).

Usies: The selfie heard round the world was not a selfie at all, apparently. It was an usie.

There may be a glimmer of hope for the anti-selfie contingent. Earlier this month, a group of students launched a #SelfiePolice campaign, asking selfie posters to pay a fine of $1 for each selfie. They’ve pledged to donate the money to charity and have raised just over $1,600, according to a Web site dedicated to the cause. “On behalf of humanity,” the site reads, “you are hereby fined $1 on charges of self-obsession.”

Bethonie Butler is a producer and a reporter on The Post’s engagement team. She oversees online comments and has also contributed to The Style Blog and She The People.



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Philip Kennicott · January 30, 2014

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