Your Source for Feminist Discourse

Music, Makeup, & Media

Selfie culture is still alive and well as 2016 ends and so is the shaming of girls who take them. Do you remember last year in October when those sorority girls  got shamed by the announcers for taking selfies during a baseball game? The announcers mock the girls for their vanity by taking selfies, which is nothing we haven’t seen before. Girls, especially “girly-girls,” are criticized for being vain and superficial and are policed by their peers every time they post a selfie on social media: you can’t take too many, or look too sexy or “basic,” and you can’t be seen taking the picture multiple times to find one you look the best in.

But in the “real” world, girls don’t usually have much space to share their interests and opinions and be taken seriously for them. Fortunately, social media platforms, like Instagram can provide a space for them to share and demonstrate their skills and experiences with the world. Girls as young as 10 can display their skills as they learn them on a platform that is generally safe and supportive, and can self-brand based on the skills they’re improving on. They can even gain a massive following on Instagram with their skills and self-promotion!

For instance, @ayla_guitar, an incredibly talented 15-year-old guitarist from BC, Canada has made a name for herself on social media. With 33.7K followers on Instagram, Ayla has created a space to share her music and talent with others. Ayla’s account mostly consists of video selfies of her playing guitar in her bedroom studio, but this doesn’t make her “vain” or “superficial.” In fact, her fan base adores her, and she has established an active relationship with her fans, commenting back to their compliments, and often posting a video of herself playing a song that they request. She is humble, yet takes pride in her improvements, as you can see in the caption of this video. While Ayla is a uniquely talented individual, there are countless other girls who have also found a platform with Instagram to exhibit their talents and interests.

Girls also claim space on Instagram with their makeup expertise (again, something that could be labeled vain and superficial). Farisa Safrina , for example, uses her page to promote her YouTube tutorials and unapologetically takes pride in her appearance and her skills as a makeup artist. She also encourages people to not judge based on someone’s appearance of social media and expresses how her makeup and pride in her appearance and self-branding is a way for her to build confidence in herself and others through a platform that gives her the opportunity to share her skills with the the world.

Ayla and Farisa aren’t using Instagram to flaunt their perfection, but to boost their confidence and encourage others to pursue what strikes their interests: just because girls post pictures and videos of themselves doesn’t mean that they are self-centered or superficial. Why is it considered vain for girls to take pride in themselves or share about their lives anyway? Guys take selfies too… Maybe instead of condemning girls for taking selfies of their life experiences or showing off their skills, we should support the chance they took in sharing their progress and trying new things.

Featured image here.

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