Selfies and old hippies
Considering the selfie. If you're under 30, it's as ordinary as a palm-size phone and the camera inside it. If you're under 20, the selfie already may have become completely last year. Being a long journey past those demographics, I remain fascinated by the selfie. The unabashed celebration of the self delights me in a good old Walt Whitman kind of way. Growing up in the Midwest in the 1960s & '70s, the word self was usually attached to self-deprecating, self-denial, self-control. Self-righteous. I had an acquaintance who wouldn't allow us to call his baby pretty because it might go to her head. I don't think prom selfies spawn succubi. It's even the fashion now among young female celebrities to post makeup-less selfies, which is a cool way to shine. What truly delights me are middle-aged and older selfies, and they are abundant - the higher we lift the phone, the better the angle. Even the most curmudgeonly old thing will post his rant decrying poor online grammar and self-centered kids next to his own off-center selfie. It is courageous to bare one's likeness to the world, and beautifully self-accepting. Coming from a rural tradition of almost maniacal privacy, for me it's healthy to put it out there once in a while. I call this photograph An Old Hippie and Her Dulcimer. Yeah, it's me. Celebrate the selfie. And shine on!
Copyright 2014 RC