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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 July 2018

Fashion notes: Try to be subtler with your selfies

When you repeatedly take out your smartphone in public and pout your lips for a quick self-taken picture, it really does no good for your style cred.
Gigi Hadid point the lens on herself. Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Samsung
Gigi Hadid point the lens on herself. Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Samsung

There’s no way fashion lovers can abstain from taking selfies. I understand, I do. There’s something magical about a good outfit – that fleeting few seconds in which a really good case of street style passes by.

Should the wearer stop, pose and start taking selfies, however, the magic and mystery are lost forever. When you repeatedly take out your smartphone in public and pout your lips for a quick self-taken picture, it really calls into question your maturity, and does no good for your style cred either.

All elegance, poise and respect are lost when you pull one of these selfie stunts. Whether you’re out for a nice meal with friends or even just on a solo shopping mission, try to stay active, alert and engaged with the environment you’re in. Don’t retreat into your head, where little voices worry about anything and everything from your necklines to brow lines, while you’re on selfie standby (those moments where you’re poised for a selfie, but are trying to work out your facial expressions and camera angles). People around you may ignore you – some are simply desensitised – but inside they’re thinking: “Oh dear.” Sorry, the truth hurts.

Public selfies aren’t to be applauded, even if you’re clothed in a killer outfit or your make-up is on-point. For you to turn into an antisocial zombie, concerned only with adjusting your hair and tightening your posture for an Insta-perfect picture, with no care for the people around you, isn’t a healthy habit. If the people around you are just as absorbed in their selfies as you are, then you have bigger problems – time to make some new friends.

I understand that urge to share, trust me. Those instances when you’ve finally found a turban that doesn’t make your head look like a potato, or when your eyelashes at last resemble that full and curled glamorous image pictured in make-up ads. These rare moments need to be documented, right? Occasional selfies are OK, and the occasional Instagram selfie posts are all right, too. Positive comments and likes on social media do a girl good sometimes, but when your whole profile becomes a recurring tape of your own face, people might think you have issues.

Public selfies are appropriate in a few cases. You’ve found your way onto the red carpet at a film festival, and Matthew ­McConaughey is passing – nobody will judge you if you stretch your arm out to its uttermost limits to capture your face in the same frame as his. These moments are driven by excitement and a sense of adoration – and, often, obsession, but for movie stars, not for yourself.

As well, when you’re on holiday with loved ones, and there’s nobody around to take a decent photograph, the selfie is extremely useful in capturing treasured moments. Which brings me to the selfie stick, which is quite ingenious, actually, and a must-pack, in my opinion, for honeymooners and mountain trekkers alike. Just try to crop out the metal rod when you’re posting the image, because it takes away from the coolness.

I’ll wrap it up bluntly. Spending your time sitting around taking Kylie Jenner-like selfies on your sofa makes you appear self-obsessed. Hours of your day are lost, and for what? A handful of likes? If that’s something you’ve just come to terms with, then fine. But if that’s not the type of person you want to be, and not the kind of outwardly image you want to project, then change your ways, before you get further sucked into the narcissistic wormhole.

hlodi@thenational.ae