I haven’t had the best luck with phones; my most recent telephonic debacle led me to the ground floor of Selfridges in pursuit of yet another phone. As I bumbled past the shimmering array of shiny smart phones with a falsely introspective look on my face, the cashier approached me with a rather obscure question, one that I have never been asked before…
“Are you part of the selfie generation?”
Um…well…I was obviously mystified. If I had indeed pledged allegiance to this millennial clan of Kardashian wannabes, he would have sold me the phone with the best camera facility available in order to facilitate my favourite hobby of striking poses ‘toute seule’. This is vitally important to members of the ‘selfie generation’; you wouldn’t go to battle without your armour on now would you? Taking the most alluring picture (of yourself of course) is down to intricate lighting, flattering angles and you absolutely must download ‘InstaBeauty’. With this cunning little app, you have slayed all the potential first World problems that could potentially jeopardise your swipes on any online dating profile; skin, makeup, slim face, big eyes, eye bag de puffer, white teeth etc.
It really made me think about imagery and how this impacts upon dating and relationships. Here at Drawing Down the Moon, we do not show pictures of potential matches and this is perhaps an avant-garde way of working whilst the ‘selfie generation’ continues to infiltrate the dating World. However, it is refreshing to meet someone for the first time minus misconceptions, false expectations or at worst disappointment.
Amidst the head tilting, LBD donning, adobe photo shopped mock-ups that make up our online dating profiles, there is reasonable doubt. I have to question the validity of these images because the’ selfie generation’ are all about distortion and deception. Men are also guilty of fanciful images. They present themselves as Spartan Gods, pouting in contrived ‘action shots’ or cutesy Kodak moments with puppies and kittens (women seem to gravitate towards these). Is all this cropping, posing and primping worth the effort though? The real deal is most probably going to provoke a reaction that will most certainly not do wonders for one’s self esteem. Human beings struggle to maintain a neutral ‘poker face’ when they are faced with disappointment.
Although everyone wants to look their absolute best and to attract the ‘perfect’ match, perhaps we should try not to go overboard in the pursuit of the ‘perfect pic’. Remember nobody’s perfect and it needs to at least vaguely/somewhat/kind of resemble you. In reality, the ‘perfect’ match has very little to do with how tanned you were in your bikini shot on Bondi beach and there is a lot to be said for a little mystery and of course ‘keeping it real’.