How ‘selfies’ create confidence

sel·fie /ˈselfē/ (noun)- a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website. (

Pretty much everyone knows the above definition and recognizes “the selfie” as one of social media’s largest and most recent trends. However, most people don’t stop to think about what these virtual self-portraits can represent.

But the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities decided it was going to. The two-part exhibit, “The Art of the Selfie: How Selfies Create Confidence,” was created to discuss how teenage girls view their own beauty.

The first part of the exhibit was a workshop on March 25 at the East Lansing Public Library. Girls in grades 7-12 were invited to think about self-esteem and beauty in the US. They then learned from artists how to express themselves and their ideas through selfies.

The second part of the exhibit was the debut of the gallery April 27, also at the East Lansing Public Library. The gallery showcased the pieces of art that the girls had created at the March 25 workshop.

“I think this program is important because it helps show girls and women that we define ourselves and what beauty is,” says Shannon Lake, teen/lead librarian at the East Lansing Public Library. “It shouldn’t be what someone else says. With the selfie project, we wanted girls to realize that their natural selves and beauty is what people find beautiful.”

The event, sponsored by the RCAH, Project 60/50 and the East Lansing Public Library, will be on display through the month of May.

“selfie.”2014. In Retrieved April 30, 2014. from

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71 thoughts on “How ‘selfies’ create confidence”

  1. In my opinion the program is a brilliant idea for girls, especially girls in grades 7-12. At this age you establish yourself: who you are and what you stand for.

    But one must remember that a photo and what that person really looks like may differ. Stay away from editing your photos, it will get you the attention and good comments that you want, but when you look at that picture, you’ll know that their liking Photoshop and not you

  2. In my opinion the program is a brilliant idea for girls, especially girls in grades 7-12. At this age you establish yourself: who you are and what you stand for.

    But one must remember that a photo and what that person really looks like may differ. Stay away from editing your photos, it will get you the attention and good comments that you want, but when you look at that picture, you’ll know that their liking Photoshop and not you.

  3. Selfies, a good or a bad trend? it may have its benefits , but it can easily become a obsession, addiction and can lead to self destruction. youngsters are constantly looking for the “perfect selfie”. they download apps that can help them edit the picture to make it look more beautiful. To someone with a low self-esteem this could help them build confidence, but selfies can also become so obsessive to some that it can take over their life, certain people are constantly searching for approval from society. the question is- does a selfie boots self confidence or can it just lead to more pressure in life by trying to be the perfect picture to the world?

    u14010039 Ashley

  4. This article explores how a selfie is used to build confidence, but unfortunately this particular activity may also have a very negative aspect. Taking a selfie and uploading it on various social media websites is an act of confidence in itself. However there are people in this world who have the need to undermine others for various reasons eg; jealousy. One’s confidence is affected by these negative comments which leads to a lowering of one’s self esteem.

  5. I strongly believe that selfies play a major role in uplifting ones confidence. When looking at social networks such as facebook and instagram its main users are teenagers,these teenagers upload images that portray themselves in various ways reflecting what an impact celebrities and famous people have on us youth.Social networks have the option of liking an image hence the girl with the most “likes” definitely has a confidence boost.

  6. “Selfies” has become a part in all of our lives, even if you don’t post your own seflies on social media we are faced with those of other people everyday. I have to disagree with this article because i think the taking and posting of selfies rather add up to arrogance not healthy confidence. Also the people who see these selfies don’t always have a very good opinion of themselves, and being bombarded with the beauty and confidence of others can actually harm their self-esteem. Another thing is that the person posting the selfie often expects others to compliment them, and if that doesn’t happen their self-esteem can also harmed, this gives the idea that outer beauty defines you and as we al know truebeauty comes from within.

  7. I agree with this article, however it only focuses on the advantages of taking selfies. Selfies do create confidence because they give people a platform to express themselves and accept themselves the way they are. There are also negative aspects to taking selfies and posting them on social media. People post selfies on social media – like, for example, Facebook and Instagram – for different reasons. When someone posts a selfie on social media he or she will get ‘likes’ or ‘re-posts’ from peers and that can boost the confidence of the person who posted the selfie.

    Social media such as Instagram, allows people to edit their selfies with photograph filters to advance the quality of the selfies. The problem with posting selfies on social media is that people who post selfies get affirmation about their appearance from their friends through comments or ‘likes’. Building confidence through positive affirmation from peers is not a recommendable thing to do because if the same peers who said positive things change and say insulting things about someone who posted a selfie of themselves, they can destroy the person’s confidence. Confidence should come from within and not from people’s opinions.

    Some photography filters on social media enhance people’s appearance when they edit their selfies. This is not a good thing because the person’s confidence will depend on the photography filters to enhance their image. Photography filters are also deceptive because, for example, someone who has rough skin can look like they have smooth skin. Enhanced selfies on social media create ‘fake’ confidence.

    A habit of taking excessive selfies may be a sign of narcissism and arrogance. Selfies may create confidence, but they may also create too much of it. This article is interesting, but it only focuses on the pros of selfies – which is that they create confidence – it is lacking because it shows only one aspect of selfies.

  8. Selfies are taken by people who are confident and think they are good-looking and that’s why they put photos of themselves on social media networks. The likes and positive comments they then receive only add fuel to the fire.
    The workshop in the article was for teenage girls, why not boys? It’s because it’s all about beauty and this generations obsession with physical appearance and beauty. People who post selfies are also vain. I agree with Manqoba that taking pictures is for keeping memories, and not about self-obsession.

  9. At 14398088 you’re making a good point about all the apps people use to alter what they look like; it doesn’t show confidence in a person. However not everyone uses these apps, perhaps its the people who are more self conscious that do so that they can be what most people think “pretty” or “good looking” is.

  10. While this article does explain why a selfie can build self confidence I believe selfies can also break it down. if a teen posts a selfie on a form of social network and that selfie does not receive a large enough positive response such as ‘likes’ on facebook) than this could lead to the teen feeling insecure about their looks, and in turn, their self esteem is lowered.

  11. Over the past 20 years, there has been an increased interest in the way beauty is perceived and expressed. While fashion has portrayed an unlikely image to the women of the world (size 0 models and the model lifestyle), this exhibit was aimed at pointing out that each woman is beautiful in her own right.
    I agree with Mugudamai that the selfie has been made into a virtual beauty pageant where the main act is that of arrogance and not of confidence. However, the workshop along with the exhibit was probably not intended as such but rather as a way of showing the power a selfie may have in overcoming self-esteem issues.

  12. It’s funny how we define beauty these days. Being a young person in the 21st century is not easy because you have to keep up with the norms. I think it is a brilliant idea to involve young girls in such activities because it helps them understand the significance of self-confidence. On the other hand it becomes a challenge when so many people define beauty differently. Social media has a great influence in how beauty is defined, you take a selfie with shades, make-up and a Very short dress on, you get so many likes and nice comments compared to when you are looking very simple(natural) which is considered dull and out-dated these days. So it becomes a complex situation to say ‘beauty is being as natural as you can be.’

  13. Nowadays, we live in a society where physical appearance is a huge factor in our societal status, and taking selfies have become a part of our modern lives.

    I have to disagree with this article.
    It is true that selfies can boost up confidence by hearing compliments about your looks.
    However, in my point of view, selfies are a way of craving attention, compliments and assurance. It can also be due to narcissism.
    Most of the time, selfies are edited on photoshop to make themselves look prettier and different from what they actually look like. When selfies are posted on SNS and people compliment on how pretty you look, it boosts up your self-confidence, but only for a short period of time. Their self-confidence will eventually decrease when they are seen by people who expect them to look exactly like the selfies, but so different in real life.

    Selfies promote self-confidence and self-satisfaction. But on the negative side, emotional affects, such as jealousy and addiction to selfies and SNS might also happen. People should learn to love themselves as who they are and how they look, because they are unique.

  14. a basic thing like uploading a picture in any social space has revolutionized the whole reasons behind taking pictures – keeping memories. A “Selfie” as is popularly known,has been a way of people to share their daily experiences,however,that being said,it belittles people who do not consider themselves photogenic.
    The matter of confidence really boils down to how people feel about themselves,the environment to name a few.

  15. seeing yourself as others will see you. if you arent satisfied with the selfie u can change your appearance and take the selfie again until you are satisfied. this will really help create confidence for yourself. sometimes you will get negative comment on your selfie but that is just people who are really jealous at you and think they will feel better by commenting some bad stuff on your selfie. i agree that selfies create more confidence for peolpe and that it should not be stopped with.

  16. Selfies have become a world wide phenomenon. I don’t agree that taking selfies makes a person feel more confident, in fact I think it does the complete opposite. There are so many websites and apps that people use to edit/enhance their selfies. If they’re editing their pictures so much does this truly show that they’re confident in their own skin? One of the main reasons people take selfies is to upload them on various social medias. However these don’t help improve confidence, take snap chat for example, once you send a picture to someone its gone within a matter of seconds, whats that saying? That selfie that the person sent on snap chat is ok because it’ll be gone soon, the same picture would not be posted on social medias because its “not good enough”, there aren’t any edits or filters to make a person “look better”. A large percentage of teens have said that social medias make them feel more self conscious about their appearance.

  17. I do that and I think its true. Taking pictures of myself make me feel way much better,when I’m sad, happy or in whatever motion,it always feels way much better if I take pictures and share with my friends on social networks and then I feel way much better afterwards. A selfie triggers some sort of divine emotion to me.

  18. Taking self portraits also known as “selfies” has become the trendiest thing nowadays.I think that taking selfies is a way of boosting one’s self confidence.

    Studies have shown that teenage girls are more likely to take selfies.These teenage girls take selfies under the influence of well-known celebrities or their role models.As a result of this. one’s self esteem is boosted.

    Taking selfies can also be a way of experimenting.One is able to take pictures at different angles.Some take these pictures in their desired angles to accentuate the beautiful looks or assets.Taking selfies should be a fun rather than a confidence booster!

  19. The recent outburst of the selfie trend has consumed various social medias. I agree that selfies are there to show a persons confidence in their appearance. However i do feel that they are not as harmful as people say they are. Yes i do agree that those people who edit their selfies to such an extent that you can hardly recognize that person are crossing the line a bit, as this can cause judging and maybe even same amount of bullying when this person meets people who have only seen their selfie pictures, I feel that selfies should rather been seen as a playful joke and made into something that can be harmless making them humorous rather than judgmental. For instance posting crazy thing like bungee jumping or sky diving etc. something that wont make people look at the picture in a mind-set to judge on that person on their appearance. It is our society that determines if actions are seen in a positive or negative way, and I don’t see a reason why selfies should attract mostly negative attention from our society even though in reality it does.

  20. I do not agree that selfies can create a person’s confidence.selfies have become a very huge trend in social networks. people take “selfie|” pictures with fuuny characters on their faces like sticking their tongues out and pouting.This does not display their natural selves and it clearly shows that they are not confident enough to be themselves.

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