Self-Images and Selfies

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Self-Image and Selfies: A Freudian Analysis Chosen as Oxford dictionaries as the 2013 word of the year, the term selfie refers to “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website". The term has made a definite mark on popular culture, the frequency usage increased over 17,000% in the 2012-2013 year (BBC News). With the rise in popularity there has also been much discussion on the possible effects of the selfie phenomena. Some articles argue that taking a high number of selfies is a sign of the increasing narcissism and self- objectification of modern culture that may lead to mental health issues such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Others suggest that taking selfies empowers the individual and promotes healthy levels of self-esteem. While viewpoints on the topic tend to be diametrically divided, a Freudian perspective provides support for both views, as the topic is more complex than it first seems. In order to understand the interest in selfies, their ramifications, and to better apply a Freudian perspective, it is important to first discuss the cultural prevalence and significance. Selfies are widespread due to the ease of access of the technology. People everywhere, from the US President and the Pope to astronauts in space to elementary school children have the ability to capture photos of themselves and have been involved in selfies. The popularity of the practice is

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