There was a time, back when I was a youth preparing to face the world, when learned sociologists worried about the American masses and our priorities. They decried the fact that we had created a society that glorified silly things such as being No. 1 and earning A’s on school papers. The experts felt that those kinds of things gave kids a distorted sense of what was important—burdening them with a ready-made recipe for low self-esteem.
“Get out there and love yourself,” the self-help gurus all told youngsters quivering in fear from the harsh, judgmental world. “Self-appreciation is the key to happiness in life.”
Well, if Kim Kardashian is any indication, happiness may be just around the corner.
The much followed and emulated reality star let it slip in an online post that she had taken a whopping 6,000 selfies during her family’s recent four-day trip to Mexico. Now in this selfie-frenzied world, that may not initially sound like a lot. But that’s approximately 1,500 pics every 24 hours. Or, oh, one-per-minute, if you decide not to sleep.
“For me, what’s so funny is I love taking pictures and posting them on social media for memories,” Kardashian once told AdWeek about her selfie obsession. “… I can look at a photo on social media and see a picture and know exactly where I was by the outfit I had on or who I was with. I take it more as a fun, emotional scrapbook that I love to look back on.”
Now, one might hear that and say, “Yeah, what’s the big deal? I take vacation photos.” But you’ve got to realize that a selfie isn’t really just a vacation pic. You know, a photo of the kids playing or of the waves crashing or of the sun setting. As Ms. Kardashian notes, she connects with her past by way of what she’s wearing or who she’s with.
Selfies are by definition pictures of you. You with the kids playing in the background. You with the waves crashing about you. You warmly lit by the setting sun. And to take one of these snapshot monuments to yourself every minute for four days, well, not only would you need a long-lasting phone battery and a mighty forearm, but one whale of a solid sense of self-appreciation.
So I think we can thank Kim K. for helping us see that we may well have gotten a handle on our self-esteem problem. Now we can move on to lesser issues … like world hunger.