In case you were wondering…I don’t really like selfies.
Here’s a humorous essay about selfies from my very biased perspective:
When Dante wrote Satan at the center of his Inferno, frozen from the waist down in the ninth circle of Hell, he neglected to mention that the reason the hideous guy is still stuck there is because he remembers being a “creature eminent in beauty once” and is desperately trying to take a good selfie of each of his three faces.
Which we all know is impossible.
The first selfie I ever attempted was a hellish experience. That deceptively benign click of my camera phone produced a photo that made me look like something the griffin dragged in. Through sand. After hacking up a hideous pellet of fat and bones enclosed in poo.
I looked more harpy than human. Jowls swallowed my chin and dark circles gnawed at my eyes. My hair appeared matted with dirty feathers, and my arms jiggled at me—impudently. My first selfie betrayed me far worse than Judas betrayed Jesus or Brutus and Cassius betrayed Caesar. It was my camera phone that Satan should have been chewing for eternity in the depths of Hell.
My friends on social media made it seem so effortless. They chronicled their lives in impromptu snapshots of themselves performing mundane tasks that looked so fabulous in their selfies, like drinking coffee or standing up. Heck, one acquaintance took a selfie that made sitting on a toilet look sexy.
Haunted by the spirit of my first disastrous attempt, I asked my friends how they did it. How did they master the art of the selfie? And why bother? Was there a hidden gun to their head? Did their husbands threaten to leave them if they failed to produce the perfect selfie? Were they trying to connect with their selfie-obsessed kids?
One friend told me that selfies are the new necessary evil. Another admitted that her selfies represented the life she wished she lived. After sifting through all their comments (and lamentations), I gathered a list of selfie tips, along with the consistent directive to download and begin using an app of apparently supernatural powers: The Selfie Filter.
So, I followed their advice. I took the selfie outside during the recommended sunlight that wouldn’t make me look like a dying raccoon. I held the camera above my head just-so and wore long sleeves to avoid resembling the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I chanted the requisite divine prayer: “Pretty please.” I processed it through the Selfie Filter, which erased every wrinkle, eradicated ten pounds, and transformed the background from a spurting water fountain to lavish Lake Erie.
The result was…tolerable.
The perfect way to freeze forever the memory of what I might have been.