Do you realize how in the past few years green tea and other new forms of beverage have suddenly appeared in the market out of nowhere? This is probably because of the rising demand of coffee combined with a radical decline in its production all over the world. The media has made us believe that we don’t want to have coffee anymore, and that there are other, “healthier” alternatives to the same.

body shaming
Similarly, women’s bodies have always been subject to control by men’s desires and fantasies, all through history. They establish such control through popular media and advertising. We all know that the internet, in these days is the most popular form of media.

women’s bodies have always been subject to control by men’s desires and fantasies, all through history. 

Women have been able to gain safer spaces for self- expression through the internet and social media. They are able to share thoughts and experiences like never before. Internet is the most democratic and empowering platform for self- expression for people from all sections of the society has representation.  We are able to connect, share thought and start movements even, from the remotest locations in the world.

While some people may not be able to control their praise for the internet revolution, others might find it a rather narcissistic, inward- looking and irreverent platform.

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 A recent study revealed that humans take almost 1 trillion pictures a year, most of which are selfies.

In recent times, the internet was flooded with numerous articles and memes on “SELFIE SHAMING” and how it was a psychological disorder, more common amongst men. Then came another ‘gendered’ debate where there were rounds of attacks and counter attacks as to whether men or women took more selfies of themselves.

What we need to realize here is that with the change in media platforms, modes of self- expression have also changed and that selfies are more like ‘cultural artefacts’ that would act as evidence of the historical development of the internet in future. While some people might enjoy taking pictures of themselves and posting everything that do online, there are also people who like to stay off the grid many a times.

A recent study revealed that humans take almost 1 trillion pictures a year, most of which are selfies. 

Taking selfies, according to Dr. Terri Apter, psychology lecturer at Cambridge University, comes from how we think we are. And that has to do a lot not with how we see ourselves, but from how others see us.

For women, (specifically speaking in the Indian context), the rise of the internet and smartphones and the subsequent global trend of taking selfies has been a great medium of self- reassurance through positive reinforcement from the outside world.

Movements like #SelfiewithDaughter in India, which was a voice against female foeticide and #Fatkini (against body shaming) and #JustaTampon (against stain shaming) came about to be global epic revolutions, which could reach the farthest and most oppressed households all was possible because of the democratic space called the internet.

If we selfie-shame women and indulge in name-calling, it would be another blow of negative reinforcement for women who have just begun to feel empowered enough to raise their voices. Selfies are an expression of self-hood, and as much as possible, we must try to let women take control of their own bodies and be able to experiment and express as much as they like. 

Sources:

The Selfie and the Slut: Nishant Shah: Review of Women’s Studies

Feature Image Credit: Mobilespyworld