Selfies, when you think about it, are the oldest, purest art form. The cave drawing of a face, the self-portrait, the autobiography. There's nothing more human than total self-absorption, and with good reason. We are born alone, we die alone, and the only people we even have a chance of ever really getting to know are ourselves. Sure, the act of taking a selfie is scorned as a girl thing, silly and superficial, but actually, selfies are meditation, the kind of self-study that Ralph Waldo Emerson would have loved. Also, selfies can make you look good, unlike pictures taken by your mother while she's screaming at you to smile. Here are some standard shots to practice.
The Basic Empowerment Selfie
Hold the camera above your head at an angle and look up so you can see how cute your face is, and what an appropriate number of chins you have. Make a serious face or, if you're a teen or a Kardashian, a duck face. Take your picture, apply filters until your zits look like freckles, and post on Instagram. Watch the compliments roll in. Feel good enough about yourself to get out of bed for one more day.
Sometimes, when you are out in the world, doing an amazing job of just being you, because you are a human and not a robot living on Mars, you want other people to acknowledge your existence. This is when you take a mountaintop selfie, a GoPro surfing selfie, a selfie on the Great Wall of China. Those likes? Those are the likes of people who see you and care that you are alive and, most likely, hope you remain that way.
The Sneaky Celebrity Selfie
It's important celebrities think you are cool. Cool people do not ask celebrities to pose for a picture. Cool people know celebrities are busy. Cool people just snap a shot while the celebrity is looking the other way. Look, now you have proof that your life isn't worthless because once a celebrity shared the same air as you.
The Blooper Selfie
Not all selfies can reflect positivity because, hey, sometimes life is garbage. So don't limit yourself to happy selfies. Take a selfie after you've been sobbing for two hours or in front of your car while it is still smashed into that fire hydrant. Selfies of the bad times are for the world. Everyone feels better when they see another person's misfortune.
The Selfie With Baby or Child
Your youth is lost forever. See those dark circles under your eyes? Those will only get worse. But a baby's glow isn't gone. A child hasn't made the mistakes you've made. Steal one ounce of that infinite potential by posing a child next to you in a selfie. Someday both your bodies will be decomposed. You will be part of the sand on a hot, dry planet, and no one who knew you will even be alive. But it doesn't matter. Taped to a wall, in a hovel, somewhere on the Arizona coastline, is your selfie. Selfies, my friend. Selfies last forever.
GO: Lucy Lee Yim's Selfie-Helpie workshop is at Conduit Dance Inc., 2505 SE 11th Ave., No. 120. 7-8:15 pm Wednesdays, April 13 and 20, May 4 and 11. All four classes $40, drop-in $12.